The Australian Country Party supports Government and police in eradicating the community of illegal firearms and eliminating illegal firearm usage. However, we will staunchly defend the rights of licenced firearm owners.
We believe the complete separation of legally held firearms (and their owners) from the criminal misuse of firearms is both logical and imperative. Ninety nine percent of licenced firearm owners are law abiding. Police have the responsibility to deal with the remainder.
Safe firearm storage is a responsibility of firearm owners. However, we insist the emphasis on stolen firearms be put back on thieves rather than firearm owners. We support the increase of penalties for firearm theft and illegal use of firearms, particularly in the commission of a crime.
A review of the current firearms categories is overdue. Any changes made must be in collaboration with the larger shooting associations and representative groups.
Access to Lands
We support the reclassification of some National Parks to increase access to bush user groups such as hunters, members of four wheel drive, motorcycle, hiking, and horse riding groups or individuals to share our natural assets. The Australian Country Party does not support the creation of new National Parks that will further reduce access to the community.
The Australian Country Party does not support legislative changes to further restrict access to land for hunting and shooting.
Recreational Hunting & Pest Control
Tens of thousands of Australians enjoy recreational hunting every week. The hunters that assist Government departments at no charge should be commended for their community
assistance with pest control and management.
Firearms and Farming
The Australian Country Party views the use of firearms by farmers as standard farming practice.
Farmers have learnt over the generations how to manage their stock and pests and the Government needs not be overly intrusive or apprehensive. Primary producers should have access to self-loading firearms without undue scrutiny and red tape.
The Australian Country Party fully supports and encourages sport and competition shooting.
Australia has a long history of training Olympic and world champions. Competition and sport shooting organisations provide excellent discipline and training for athletes and promote the safe handling and use of firearms. Sport shooting is well represented by both disabled and able-bodied athletes regardless of gender or physical limitations. Competitive shooting has been proven to be a safe and enjoyable recreational pastime for thousands of Australians. Shooting groups are uniquely positioned to assist Government in policy development by providing expert and fact-based knowledge and experience.
The Australian Country Party supports the right of licensed collectors aligned to a police – approved societies or guilds to collect, preserve, restore and display antique historical firearms and firearm related equipment and paraphernalia.