SSAA Fremantle billboard vandalised; Instagram gun sales boom; pistol-packin’ Pastor halts robbery; common sense gun laws passed in California; gun-starved crims modify antiques; armed guard facing firearms charges; Moree pig shoot reduces damage; $50,000 to kill 39 goats; watermelons taking over NSW Greens
Didn’t take long
The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia WA branch’s attempt to promote hunting in Fremantle has been vandalised days after it was erected. The billboard was positioned in a Greens-saturated area of Fremantle so the reaction wasn’t entirely unexpected. “Here’s what the vandals did to the sign,” the SSAA said on its Facebook page. “I wonder what they will say when we put up a poster of one of the girl hunters.”
Instagram gun sales boom
Social media is a great way to sell stuff and in the US, firearms sales via Instagram are reportedly booming – and it’s entirely legal. According to The Daily Beast, the popular photo sharing app has become an effective tool for buying and selling all manner of firearms including a chrome-plated antique Colt, a custom MK12-inspired AR-15 tricked-out with “all best of the best parts possible,” and an HK416D .22LR rifle by simply combining terms like #rifle or #ar15 with #forsale. There is no federal law against online sales and Instagram has no policy for the sale of firearms.
Pistol-packin’ pastor halts robbery
An Indiana pastor has foiled a robbery by pulling out his firearm. A report on the Guns.com website said that Paster Carl Sanders, a law-abiding concealed carry permit holder, entered a discount store where a 25-year-old man was attempting to rob the cashier holding what he said was a gun. It turned out the object he was carrying was a plastic spoon swaddled in a plastic bag and then he pointed it at Paster Sanders. “He was telling me to get on the ground,” Sanders said. “But I couldn’t see what he had… That’s when I pulled my weapon and say, ‘No, you get on the ground.’” The man was arrested and will face multiple charges.
Common sense gun laws passed
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of new gun-control measures, including a curb on large-capacity ammunition magazines, said a report in Bloomberg Businessweek. At the same time, though, Brown vetoed measures that would have further restricted ordinary semiautomatic rifles that gun foes like to demonise as “assault weapons.” Brown explained his actions in an eminently sensible veto statement. “The State of California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including bans on military-style assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines,” Brown wrote. “I don’t believe this bill’s blanket ban on semiautomatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights.”
Gun-starved crims modify antiques
Antiques and obsolete guns are being adapted and used by criminals facing a shortage of weapons, according to police in a report on the BBC’s website. A decade ago, Britain’s cities were experiencing a surge in gun crime but, following successful interventions by crime agencies and the government, the number of firearms offences annually is now half what it was in 2003, according to the Office for National Statistics. The report goes on to say that pistols used to fire gas canisters have been adapted to fire 9mm rounds. Another weapon seized after that attack was a French-made Saint-Etienne army revolver, used by the French Army in the 1870s. Like many weapons of that era, spanning from the American Civil War until WWI, they can be legally imported as antiques. Though they were built to fire ammunition that is now obsolete, they can be adapted to fire modern bullets.
Armed guard facing firearms charges
An armed guard has been taken off the beat in Victoria after being charged with firearms offences. In a brief statement, Victoria Police confirmed on Friday that a Protective Services Officer (PSO) has been charged on summons. The officer is accused of failing to secure and properly store a personal firearm and ammunition at a home. “The PSO has been transferred to non-operational duties,” the statement said. The statement does not disclose the officer’s name, age, location where he was stationed or the suburb where the offences are alleged to have occurred. The man will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court on November 28.
Moree pig shoot reduces damage
Cotton growers in the Ashley and Garah areas of NSW have worked together to eradicate more than 1150 feral pigs in two shoots. The shoot was part of a project initiated by the growers across 31 properties over 68,000 hectares who identified feral pigs as a major source of crop damage. Many had also observed evidence of pig damage along stream banks which if allowed to get worse, has the potential to cause significant erosion. Spokesman for the group Mark Winter said “The removal of 580 pigs in the first shoot and a further 576 pigs in the second has significantly reduced the impact this introduced species was having on the environment.”
$50,000 to kill 39 goats
Parks Victoria has spent $50,000 to kill 39 goats in two regional parks in the north east of the state, according to an ABC report. The shooters from NSW used helicopters to locate the goats that were killed over a four-day period. Dan McLaughlin, from Parks Victoria, says the program will now be evaluated to decide if this technique could be used in other areas of the state. “Yeah, every goat that the pilot and the shooters saw, they were all dispatched. So 100 per cent success rate. As far as we know, that’s all the goats that were in there, because everything they saw was shot.”
Watermelons taking over NSW Greens
A report in The Australian has revealed a factional split in the NSW branch of the Greens Party. “Hard Left Greens senator Lee Rhiannon and her forces, dubbed the watermelon faction, have seized greater control of the NSW branch in a move some fear could influence the future direction of the party,” the report says. “Hall Greenland, the failed Greens federal candidate in Anthony Albanese’s Sydney seat of Grayndler, was elected state convener at the NSW Greens’ annual general meeting at the weekend. Controversial NSW upper-house member David Shoebridge also won an influential position, elected the parliamentary representative to the Greens’ national conference, which develops the party’s policy platform. One Greens source said Mr Greenland and Mr Shoebridge were part of the watermelon faction – green on the outside and red on the inside – rather than the “tree-hugging camp”. They placed a greater emphasis on grassroots activism rather than on a centralised statewide approach to campaigning.”