The Shooters party wants to give people access to high-powered semi-automatic weapons and wind back gun laws.
In a submission to a Tasmanian Legislative Council inquiry into firearms, the Shooters argued in favour of silencers and drastically reduced gun control.
“New Zealand doesn’t have a problem with law abiding firearm owners having access to semi auto firearms both low powered and high powered,” the party wrote. “Only Military Style Semi auto firearms are registered along with Machine guns. SFFP (the Shooters) believes that we should follow New Zealand’s lead.”
In 1996, the Howard Government introduced tough gun control in the wake of the Port Arthur Massacre, severely restricting access to most firearms. Primary producers and sports shooters can still buy and own firearms, but there are strict police checks and registers of ownership.
New Zealand, on the other hand, allows civilians to possess a military-style semi-automatic firearms if they are over 18 and have a special permit from the police. This is the type of weapon used in Friday’s Christchurch shooting, as well as the Orlando nightclub, Las Vegas and Sandy Hook school shootings in the United States.
While the United States continues to be an outlier in terms of gun control – despite multiple mass shootings every year – New Zealand is now looking at tightening up its own laws in the wake of the Christchurch shooting.
However, Australia’s gun lobby is doubling down on its opposition to our tough gun laws, and fringe political parties like the Shooters appear keen to do their bidding.