Media monitoring

Gun lobby says put Greens last

AAP, Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Australia’s largest gun lobby is urging the nation’s 800,000 licensed shooters to put the Australian Greens last on their senate ballot paper at the August 21 poll.

The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) says The Greens are a threat to shooting and other outdoor activities. The Association has mailed a flyer to its 130,000 members calling on them to vote “below the line” in the Senate to ensure preferences did not inadvertently flow to The Greens.

“The Greens are openly anti civilian firearms,” Association spokesman Tim Bannister told AAP on Wednesday.

“They don’t want firearms in the hands of civilians for either sporting or recreational or hunting purposes.”

Mr Bannister said the Association was “repelled” by The Greens’ “lock-up mentality” attitude to public lands and forests.

The Association is not specifically advocating members vote either Labor or Coalition.

“Either way, we need to work with the government or opposition whoever they are,” Mr Bannister said.

Speaking in Melbourne on Wednesday, Greens leader Bob Brown said the gun lobby’s efforts would actually increase his party’s vote.

“I’m not going to be coerced by the gun lobby,” he told reporters.

Senator Brown said he understood and respected that there were legitimate uses for firearms, but he would not relent on pushing through with plans to introduce more restrictions on handguns.

“When you go to people who own guns, they want sensible and proper laws on them and always have,” he said.

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