One rich gun control group with an $8m payroll wants to dive into our pockets so it can employ more anti-gun campaigners

IN THIS ARTICLE, we reveal how a collective of cashed-up gun control groups is trying to dupe politicians into believing its necessary to tax shooters to do their work.

One of the wealthy key players already has more than 90 staff – so why are politicians even listening to them?

TERRY SLEVIN has had a long interest in gun control. Or more accurately, gun restrictions.

Slevin (pictured right) is the CEO of the Australian Public Health Association and is Adjunct Professor at Curtin University and at the Australian National University.

He is also the head of the Australian Gun Safety Alliance (AGSA) and was the founding chair of the Coalition for Gun Control in WA. 

Slevin's high-flying canberra function

Labor’s Josh Burns MP

Liberal’s James Stevens MP

IN NOVEMBER LAST YEAR, Slevin held an extravagent function at Parliament House for the Parliamentary Friends of Firearm Safety, which is co-chaired by two MPs, Labor’s Josh Burns MP and the Liberals James Stevens MP (pictured left).  

Neither Slevin, Burns nor Stevens have any qualifications or experience in ‘firearm safety’ that we know about, which means they are susceptible to being misled.

At the forum, Stevin told those there that requirement to have genuine reason to hold a licence is a significant funding stream for the SSAA. 

While we do not speak for the SSAA, Slevin makes several exaggerated claims about where its funding comes from, and how it spends it.

IN A LETTER he later sent to Federal Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus (see right – click the image to view the letter), Slevin (naively) describes the SSAA as the ‘national umbrella body’ for shooters and complains about how shooters are somehow working against the public interest.

In the same letter, Slevin states:

“By contrast, the community voice promoting gun safety and proper regulation is not at all resourced. Most official government committees or reference groups at jurisdictional level have an imbalance of those representing shooters, when compared to those representing safety. In some instances there are no voices to balance the views of the shooters groups.”

Ye, the AGSA’s website recently announced its inclusion in the NSW Firearms Registry Consultation Council. Click here to see it boasting about this.

Other non-shooting groups, such as law institutes and universities, have similar memberships in other states.

Slevin’s letter to Dreyfus – click the image to read the letter

Exaggerating the imbalance

In his speech at the Canberra gathering, Slevin stated:

“… there is one bloke who is paid to work outside government to promote gun safety and to provide policy advice and input across 9 government, state territory and federal. He is paid one [day] a week for that work and he is here today. Stephen Bendle is it. Let me repeat that: one-day-per–week!”

Poor ol’ Stephen Bendle is reportedly underemployed despite being a convenor of AGSA and travelling to Canberra for the function


Bendle, the poor, lonely figure who is the one-day-a-week employee, is a Convenor of the AGSA.

He was a founding member of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation (AMF) which, according to it’s own documentation, was the entity that set up the AGSA in 2018.

So, be under no illusion about who is running the agenda.

One of the other members of the AGSA is Gun Control Australia.  In other words, the AGSA isn’t about gun safety: it’s about setting up a well funded, well resourced lobby group – under the guise of gun safety. 


“Gun safety” – who practices it?

In addition to shooters, those who practice gun safety include firearm safety instructors, coaches and range officials.

Gun control groups don’t do this.

Their members don’t hold firearm qualifications or have any relevant experience with firearms. Many have never even visited a range.

The multi-million dollar payroll

What is interesting about the ‘imbalance’ that Slevin complains about is that the AMF’s financial statements show its revenue hovers around $20m. 

That’s around the same level as the SSAA, according to Slevin.  Except that the AMF enjoys charitable tax status which provides various exemptions that are not available to other organisations.

The AMF’s financial statements also show its employee expenses for the previous reported financial year exceeded $8.6m per annum. 

That pays for 92 full time staff (which is up from 77 the year before) yet it can’t afford to employ Bendle for more than one-day-a-week?

The backers

If the AMF and it’s AGSA were short of a quid, then they could easily turn to their backers.  Here is a list of its members and other supporters – who can clearly find the money to employ the struggling Bendle.

The solution? Tax those pesky peasants...

In his letter to Dreyfuss, Slevin states he has written to WA’s Premier, Paul Papalia, asking him to impose a tax on shooters to fund a new entity to gain data to remedy the imbalance. 

Here is what he said:

“I have put a proposal to the Western Australian Police Minister Paul Papalia as he undertakes a review of the firearms legislation in that state. 

I have proposed that an additional $10 be added to the annual firearms license in WA for the purpose of establishing and funding a Firearms Safety Research Institute, which would have the purpose of capturing data relevant to the purpose of the Act as a means of evaluating its efficacy in achieving its stated purpose.”

This is a shady proposal by those who have nothing to do than to punish shooters for entertainment. 

In the meantime, we have sent a FOI request to WA’s Police Minister, Paul Papalia, covering any proposal he received from Slevin, his deliberations and any responses he (the minister) may have provided.

Going for class warfare

CLASS WARFARE: Canapes, anyone?

SLEVIN’S PROPOSAL isn’t about imbalance: it’s class warfare.  It’s about those who think they are better than the rest of us wanting to syphon money from shooters to spend how they want. 

They are after political cover to mandate their shonky scheme, under the conveniently vague guise of ‘gun safety’.

At the very least, Burns and Stevens need to understand the true nature of what they are being asked to sign up to. 

AMF CEO, Lesley Podesta

They need to understand they are being asked to support a fight against their own constituents.

If they need more convincing, we’d like to point to this reported quote from the foundation’s CEO, Lesley Podesta, who we understand said:

“all gun owners are unemployed victims of globalisation who need a gun to feel more masculine”

Podesta, who has made other similar remarks in the past, is another one who has taken cheap shots at shooters. 

That’s hardly charitable of the CEO of a charity.


What is the value of AGSA’s research?

It’s worthless and is not used by academia – for good reason. 

They haven’t done any work to identify the economic and social benefits of shooting and don’t understand the structure of Australia’s shooting industry.

What they’re offering isn’t research: it’s a political position, which is why politicians need to call it out for what it is.

Relying on the incompetent

At the bottom of Slevin’s speech is a note that much of it was drawn from the work of Phillip Alpers from Sydney university: Alpers is not only well known in anti-gun circles but was famously kicked off a range in NZ several years ago for accidently discharging a firearm – twice – as a visitor. 

The last person a ‘gun safety’ advocate would do is rely on someone that not even gun clubs would touch. However Slevin appears to have done just that.

We know gun safety is important, but We're too busy to speak with you

In preparing for this story, we invited Slevin, Burns and Stevens to participate in interviews on NSCTV.

Burns’ office stated “Mr Burns is unavailable for an interview. I appreciate you sending through this request”.  The others didn’t respond. 

Let our pollies know

If our politicians can’t be bothered getting the right information or responding to concerns, then let’s bring it to them.

The email below will point out to them why they shouldn’t listen to groups like the AGSA and should distance themselves from them. 


Click the button (and wait a few seconds) to send an email to the key MPs telling them not to support the tax.

If you’re having problems using this email facility, please check the link below.

Some email programs may not process the link properly.  Please use the correct separators between the email addresses (ie “;”, or “,”) :



Subject: CLASS WARFARE: Why you need to reject the elitists’ gun tax grab

Body: Dear Members of Parliament,

I refer to a function at Parliament House on 22 November 2022 hosted by the Australian Gun Safety Alliance for the Parliamentary Friends of Firearm Safety.

The Alliance argues that it is concerned with gun safety and needs to tax shooters (starting in WA) to help fund an anti-gun researcher who is currently employed one-day-a-week.

It was set up by a registered charity that has a payroll of $8.6m in the previous financial year and employs 92 EFT.  It is therefore a nonsense for it to argue that it needs to tax shooters for anything.

I am also concerned that this group is not concerned with gun safety, but gun restrictions. Gun safety is practiced by shooters who are licensed by the relevant authorities (police).  The experts in this field include range officers, coaches and firearm instructors.

You are being duped by elitists who are simply not qualified or experienced in this field and want to tax shooters for political (rather than safety) reasons, for their own gratification.  It is a disingenuous proposal that they want you provide political cover for, which risks dragging you into class warfare with your own constituents.

I urge you to reject the proposal and dump any association with the Alliance. 

Yours Sincerely,

5 thoughts on “CLASS WARFARE: Why rich gun control groups want to tax shooters

  1. Philip Walter says:

    this WAR on shooters is nothing but a witch hunt they cannot control the criminals who are the biggest threat So they go after the LLFO,s to fund their agenda thru taxes
    WA,s yearly license scheme is a complete fund raising exercise
    trying to price shooters out of the sport
    we hope the next election sees him out of a job
    AMF,s funds raising should be available to everybody to see just where the money goes it doesnt go to the kids

  2. Don Brooke says:

    With reference to Mr Slevin’s appeal to the Federal Attorney general – this is what he asks for; “Such an Institute would be an independent body which would gather and report information on gun safety related matters, metrics and trends on ownership, and on accidents and injuries relating to firearms” – we know what data the institute will collect – the data will show that there are less injuries and accidents in the shooting sports than in most other sports – that was the case before 1996 and it remains so today – the creed of the Australian Gun Safety Alliance is to reduce gun ownership in Australia by citizens of good character to zero – they only want the police and the army to have guns – how’s that working in the Ukraine and Sudan? – I agree with Mr Slevin in his criticism of the effect of the NFA has had on the shooting associations – that effect being compulsory club membership which has made some shooting associations rich – and virtually no benefit from that wealth is passed on to the members – I believe that compulsory membership should be abolished – because it is an act of coercion by the government against citizens of good character which cannot be shown to have prevented one crime – and – the shooting associations who have benefited most from the NFA financially have shown themselves to be incompetent managers of the revenue stream that the NFA provided them.

    • Mike Woods says:

      Excellent post Don. Sad state of affairs in Australia today when the like of Slevin get air time, anywhere.

  3. Derrick Bunn says:

    Don’t waste your effort on “crime” “health” or “suicide” Gun control is about keeping Government safe from the population. All these groups are just “useful idiots” in socialist parlance. Evidence? Why do the Democrats want to remove the 2nd Amendment? Why do the Western Aussie Police need to remove calibres that will penetrate body armour? It’s not to stop “crime” is it?

  4. Gweneth. says:

    People who don’t participate in the sport, or fear what they dont know about….
    See the gunowners as the gun, and infact its the people in the background behind the gunowners back, who pull the trigger.

    As for taxing participants in the sport, is Govt also going to tax golfers, lawn bowlers, tennis players, chess players for more funding ? Those sports have large followings too.

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