Nationals Party of Australia statement

There are more than one million Australians who are registered firearms owners and more than 100,000 participants every week engaged in the sport across the country. Most are engaged in recreational shooting at thousands of clubs nationwide and many use firearms as part of their daily work in pest management and farming.

The Nationals recognise that responsible shooting and hunting are part of day-to-day life for many Australians, especially in regional areas, and recognise and promote the significant contribution responsible recreational shooters and hunters make to key aspects of the Australian community.

The Nationals will ensure the Federal Government continues to have an ongoing forum for industry engagement which will include recreational shooters, hunters and industry on matters affecting the operation of business and participants in activities of interest to them on an ongoing basis.

We understand that regulations and policies affecting farmers, recreational shooters, hunters and the firearms industry should not be based on ideological dogma, but on facts established through robust and comprehensive data and research.

The Nationals are committed to reducing red tape and unnecessary regulations, policies and procedures that have a detrimental impact on shooters, hunters and the firearms industry. We believe shooting and hunting should be undertaken in a responsible way and support safety and education programs for shooters about safe firearms practice.

The Nationals acknowledge the contribution the industry makes to the economy through research and development, defence industry and thousands of small business. We reaffirm our belief on the importance of shooting and hunting for farmers and as a recreational activity for all Australians.

The Nationals appreciate the role shooting sports play in the elite sporting landscape at international levels. International excellence is based on a strong pathway through local clubs and organised competitions and being involved in vibrant sporting clubs contributes to the physical, social and mental health benefits of all Australians.

In government, The Nationals have delivered the following for sporting shooters: we have worked with the Western Australia Police to ensure Australia Post became a licensed approved commercial carrier of firearms in WA, just like any other state.

The Nationals championed the social and economic benefits of transporting firearms through Australia Post at the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia’s SHOT Expo in October 2018 and were pleased to acknowledge that Australia Post was implementing upgrades to its post offices to accommodate the new services.

The Nationals in government ensured we established the Commonwealth Firearms Advisory Council (CFAC) to provide industry direct access to the Federal Government to discuss matters of interest and concern.

We support law-abiding gun ownership in Australia. Recreational shooters, world champions, farmers, Olympic athletes, small businesses and those with an interest in firearms were invited to take part in the first-ever nationwide survey to measure the economic and social benefits of the sport.

On June 28, 2018 the Minister for Sport announced a study that will seek to quantify the social and economic contribution the shooting industry makes to Australia. Local shooting clubs, regional sports events and shooting tourism can be pivotal economic drivers.

The local employment of more than 1000 firearm dealers and the wider firearm manufacturing industry that support this activity needs to be better understood. Demographic information, along with health and wellbeing benefits for participants, is also being examined and that is why we have worked tirelessly to support recreational shooters throughout this past term in government and will continue to into the future should we be re-elected.

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