SHOT Expo was a huge success.

Snap Shots

SHOT Expo breaks records; poll shows massive support for UK gun-law reform; the judge, the drugs and the hunting death; wolf hunting ban fails; gun importation regulations review; Abela’s on sale; hunting on the box

SHOT Expo breaks records

Last weekend’s SHOT Expo in Melbourne was the biggest in the event’s history. The SSAA says 12,341 visitors came through the doors over both days. This year the show was handed over to the Exhibitions Group, a specialist company, in a move that helped boost its success. The increasing popularity of the shooting sports was also an important factor. “Our exhibitors were thrilled with the amount of custom they received; our indoor range went off and had visits from Ministers and shooting celebrities Russell and Lauren Mark; the dogs were a hugely popular attraction; and our visitors left with huge smiles,” SSAA Victoria communications manager Wilda Kerr said. Next year’s SHOT Expo will be held in Sydney, with dates yet to be announced.

Poll shows massive support for UK gun-law reform

A newspaper poll asking readers to vote on the topic they most want to see debated in parliament has overwhelmingly backed the legalisation of handguns. Readers of The Telegraph were given six topics to vote on, from limiting terms for prime ministers to child maintenance payments, and currently 85% of respondents want the ban on handguns repealed. The second most popular option is for a flat tax, but it has garnered only 7% of the vote. Handguns are all but banned in the UK, to the point where even Olympians cannot train in their own country. Meanwhile, gun crime has become a highly visible issue for UK residents as gangs flaunt laws by using illegal guns.

The judge, the drugs and the hunting death

An accidental death on a hunting trip has opened a can of worms for one Illinois, USA, county judge. Judge Michael Cook has been arrested for possession of heroin and faces firearm charges. The death of his fellow judge, Joe Christ, was the beginning of Cook’s downfall, but Christ’s death wasn’t gun-related – he died of a cocaine overdose while the pair was away hunting. Adding further to the controversy, the cocaine was sold to the judges by a probation officer, who also now faces drug charges.

Wolf hunting ban fails

Two groups vehemently opposed to the hunting of wolves in the US have failed for a second time to have Minnesota’s season stopped by the courts. The state’s appeals court this week threw out a case brought by Howling for Wolves and the Center for Biological Diversity, saying their arguments lacked sufficient legal standing. However, the groups have vowed to try again, saying they feel a “sense of injustice”. Minnesota is preparing to do a count of the current wolf population before setting quotas for the 2013 season. Last year, its first season, just over 400 wolves were taken by hunters and trappers.

Gun importation regulations review

Shooters and the industry have one week left to comment on new federal government regulations on the importation of firearms. Many changes will streamline importation, removing unnecessary provisions. For example, the new regulations would recognise Category D licence holders who make only part of their income from pest control. Restrictions on .50BMG have been postponed. The changes also cover topics such as importation of Cat C firearms by competitive international shooters, transhipping and more. The details are available on the Attorney General’s website.

Abela’s on sale

New Sydney gunshop Abela’s is having a massive sale tomorrow, Saturday, 1 June. The shop, at 13 Watsford Rd, Campbelltown, is open from 9am to 5pm and they’re billing the day as “the closest thing Sydney will get to the SHOT Expo this year”. Reps from all the major suppliers will be present, they’ll have a sausage sizzle raising money for Beyond Blue, and women will be treated to a free 15-minute facial as well as being able to shop for discounted Wilderness Dreams sleepwear and even lingerie! Call 02 4626 3222 or see the website.

Hunting on the box

Don’t forget to tune in to the next episode of Australia’s first hunting TV show, Beyond the Divide. Check out the show’s website for links to the networks broadcasting it, or to watch via the internet.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.