Concerns valid over gun law relaxation

IT’S difficult to understand why anyone – particularly a farmer – would need a weapon capable of firing eight shots in eight seconds, all in the name of vermin control.

That’s exactly the argument being used by Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm as be fights for the highly controversial Adler 110 lever-action shotgun to be removed from the banned list in Australia.

Senator Leyonhjelm is using the shotgun as a pawn in the battle of wills after the good senator said he would consider adding his support to the Turnbull government’s bill to crack down on unions in return for lifting the ban on importing the Adler rapid-fire firearm.

There’s a genuine fear among many advocates that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull may consider taking up the offer to get his way in the upper house in return for support with the restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Senator Leyonhjelm’s push gained momentum yesterday after Federal Nationals MPs Mark Coulton and Bridget McKenzie threw their support behind the reclassification of the Adler so it could be imported.

They want the firearm reclassified from category A to category B, meaning it would be restricted to only farmers and those people with a specific need for the weapon.

In regards to farmers, it is understood it would primarily be used shoot larger animals such as feral pigs. 

Firearm activists say claims allowing the import of the Adler weakens our stringent gun laws in Australia were pure fiction. They say that lever-action shotguns have always been allowed in Australia. 

This isn’t the first time the Adler has made headlines.  In 2015 under the leadership of Tony Abbott, the Liberal government suspended imports of the firearm after concerns were raised it may undermine the National Firearm Agreement, which was brought in to restrict the availability of powerful, rapid-fire weapons following the Port Arthur massacre. The question is, do we really want any relaxation of our gun laws now or any time into the future? 

Earlier in the week, Mr Turnbull said there would be no softening of our gun laws. By Wednesday, the PM’s own hardline stance appeared to soften somewhat. Since the 1996 tragedy, no party has even considered tinkering with gun laws. 

One can only imagine any politician brave enough to do so would most likely feel the full wrath of the voting public.