Field & Game Australia

Shotgun debate

These Winchester lever action shotguns were among the first manufactured in 1887

With the Council of Australian Governments (COAG to meet on Friday to discuss the classification of the seven shot Adler lever action shotgun a number of MP's have been vocal on the issue.

The following extracts are from the official record.

Luke O'Sullivan, Member for Northern Victoria (Nationals)

Mr O’SULLIVAN (Northern Victoria) — On Friday a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting will be held to discuss amongst other things the reclassification of the Adler A110 shotgun. The Adler shotgun is a single-shot firearm that requires manual mechanisation through the use of a hand lever to engage the next cartridge into the chamber for firing. Lever action firearms are not new; they have been around for many decades. The COAG meeting is likely to classify the Adler A110 as a category D firearm, which is an overreaction that is far too restrictive and will only allow the gun to be used by professional shooters. The lever action Adler should be classified either in category A, as a shotgun other than a pump action or semiautomatic shotgun, or in category B, as any combination of a shotgun. The lever action Adler A110 is not a semiautomatic gun — far from it — and it is not a pump action shotgun, which is categorised as a category C.

Shotguns like the Adler A110 are a tool of trade for farmers and hunters across Victoria and Australia for controlling pest animals such as rabbits, foxes, wild dogs and particularly feral pigs. I call on the Premier to advocate at COAG that the Adler A110 remains in its current classification, in line with the detailed assessment made of lever action shotguns under the John Howard gun reforms of 1996. The Nationals will continue to advocate for lawful firearm users

Jeff Bourman, Member for Eastern Victoria (SFFP)

Mr BOURMAN (Eastern Victoria) — My question today is to the Minister for Police represented by Minister Herbert in this place. The national firearms agreement (NFA) came into existence 20 years ago this year. For those 20 years we have been told that it is world's best practice and a shining example to the world, yet we are in the middle of a hysterical debate about the revision of this fantastic NFA because of its deficiencies. This debate, and it is very one-sided and is not really a debate, is clearly designed to create fear to get a predetermined outcome rather than have a rational conversation based on fact.

Onto the Adler A110: we have had lever-action shotguns with five shots or more for 129 years in this country and no recorded instances of misuse exist. Should these things really be considered hyper lethal? I reckon we would have noticed. My question is: precisely what is the government's position regarding the reclassification of the Adler A110 and lever-action shotguns in general?

Response from Steve Herbert, Member for Western Victoria (ALP)

Mr HERBERT (Minister for Training and Skills) — Firstly, can I thank Mr Bourman for his question. Obviously I and the government do not agree with his premise and the commentary before the question. However, I understand that is the position of him and his party on it. What I can say is this: I was not at the meeting of course, not being the police minister, but I understand that all states and territories except New South Wales — so that would be Victoria obviously — agreed to reclassifying the five-shot Adler from A to B and reclassifying the Adler with more than a five-round capacity to a category D firearm. Category B means that not only does there need to be a genuine reason to have a licence but there also needs to be a genuine reason to own the firearm. Category D is of course a high category, which means that it would only be allowed in the hands of military or police. As I say, all states except New South Wales agreed to that, so there was not a national consensus at that meeting. Agreement was not reached, and that obviously means that the issue continues to be unresolved and there will be more consideration of it in the future. If I can add any more to the specifics of your question, Mr Bourman, I would be glad to do so in writing.

Dummy text