The Australian Greens succeeded in bid to have the Senate pass a motion critical of the firearms industry and calling for the federal government to ensure State and Territories to comply with the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).
In her motion, Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi attacked the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) and its members for running political campaigns at Queensland and Victorian elections.
Senator Faruqi claimed more than 50 breaches of the NFA and that SIFA is trying to weaken gun laws and their campaigns should “…terrify us all”.
Senator Faruqi claimed SIFA contributors Nioa, Raytrade, Outdoor Sporting Agencies, Winchester and Beretta stood to benefit and the Government should “..resist moves to weaken Australia's gun control laws.”
The Greens motion named the companies but listed “Baretta” instead of Beretta which Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm corrected.
“Once again the Greens have shown that they have NFI about the NFA. In fact, they have no idea about firearms, the firearms industry or gun control in general,” Senator Leyonhjelm told the Senate.
“Like the $400 million registered buyback after Port Arthur, the NFA has been of zero value in reducing firearm related crime, because terrorists and criminals do not buy registered guns. Restrictions on licensed firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens do not target those who own and misuse firearms illegally.”
Senator Leyonhjelm said the NFA was the equivalent of trying to crack down on unlicensed, dangerous drivers by increasing the difficulty of the driving test. Queensland Senator Fraser Anning made the same point in opposing the motion.
Nationals Senator Nigel Scullion led the Government’s defense of the NFA and law-abiding firearm owners.
“We stand with over one million law-abiding firearms owners across Australia who have purchased their legally obtained firearms from a local law-abiding business,” he said.
“These businesses go through thorough processes to ensure that our nation’s gun laws are adhered to. It is because of law-abiding store owners, shooters and industry that we've had such a small amount of breaches over two decades.”
Liberal Party Senator Anne Ruston said the government was proud of the NFA and also recognised that many Australians have legitimate reasons for owning legally registered firearms.
Senator Ruston also supported the need for the firearms industry and the community to have a voice on the NFA.
“The government consults with the states and territories as well as the community and industry groups,” she said.
“We welcome feedback on all aspects of the National Firearms Agreement and broader firearms issues.”
The motion was passed 31-25. Below is a list of who voted.
|Chisholm, A||Collins, JMA||Di Natale, R|
|Faruqi, M||Gallacher, AM||Griff, S|
|Hanson-Young, SC||Hinch, D||Ketter, CR|
|Kitching, K||Lines, S||Marshall, GM|
|McAllister, J||McCarthy, M||McKim, NJ|
|Moore, CM||O'Neill, DM||Patrick, RL|
|Polley, H||Pratt, LC||Rice, J|
|Siewert, R||Singh, LM||Smith, DPB|
|Steele-John, J||Sterle, G||Storer, TR|
|Urquhart, AE (teller)||Waters, LJ||Watt, M|
|Abetz, E||Anning, F||Brockman, S|
|Bushby,DC (teller)||Canavan, MJ||Cash, MC|
|Colbeck, R||Duniam, J||Fawcett, DJ|
|Fierravanti-Wells, C||Georgiou, P||Gichuhi, LM|
|Hume, J||Leyonhjelm, DE||Macdonald, ID|
|McGrath, J||Molan, AJ||Reynolds, L|
|Ruston, A||Ryan, SM||Scullion, NG|
|Seselja, Z||Smith, DA||Stoker, AJ|