Vic Coalition's pro-shooting policies

APPLAUDING the Vic Coalition on good shooting policies won’t wash easily with shooters who remember 1996. However the Coalition has  come good on what we believe are some good early wins for shooters ahead of November’s Vic State Election.

That’s why we’re asking Victorian shooters to let the opposition know it’s on the right track by supporting what is a constructive and helpful direction.  It’s why we need your help with by sending a message of support to the Coalition.

IN THIS ARTICLE, we cover the Victorian Coalition’s commitments, which are to:

  • Change the Firearms Act to expand appeal rights for shooters;
  • Change the Firearms Act to make it clear firearm prohibition orders are to be used for criminal activities, not for other minor offences such as speeding fines;
  • Change the Firearms Act to embed a pro-shooting narrative into law;
  • Support the inclusion of shooting in the 2026 Commonwealth Games;
  • Retain duck hunting – and put in place a key protections against political interference

NSC leads the fight for shooters

Earlier this year, we started engaging with both sides of parliament.  This took the form of putting ‘problem statements’ to seek their responses. 

This is the tone that the Coalition came back to us with in their response.  

Peter Walsh MP sets a positive tone for the Victorian Coalition’s approach to shooters for November’s Victorian State Election to the NSC

Labor's record

Labor was quick to close our gun shops and to keep changing our gun laws. It was quick to cut our hunting seasons down, and now it looks keen to chase the Green vote at the expense of shooters.

Earlier this year, we wrote to Labor seeking their commitments to protect shooting. There responses were disgusting. Here’s where we are at with them.

Labor has refused to rule out: 

  • Restrictions on hunting (particularly duck hunting);
  • Further restrictions on shooters including storage requirements;
  • Mandatory attendances expanded to longarms;
  • Proficiency testing; or the
  • Exclusion of shooting from the 2026 Commonwealth Games

The coalition's response - and it's good

The Victorian Coalition has taken a completely different approach.

Not only did Peter Walsh MP set the tone for the conversation with the statement we showed you above, but the Coalition has come up with some positions that we think are very positive, and worth our support.

Here’s what they have committed to.

Expand each of the drop-down items below to see what the Coalition will do.

Better appeal rights

“Appeal rights should be extended to licence suspensions”

Currently shooters do not have the right of appeal to the Victorian Firearms Appeals Committee if their licence is suspended. They can only appeal when their licence is cancelled.

This has left many shooters with licences that get suspended for months or years. As the coalition explained to us, fixing this to cover licence suspensions is simply ‘fair process’.

Putting a positive narrative about shooting into law

“Shooting provides social, economic and environmental benefits.  These benefits need to form part of the government’s narrative. This narrative needs legislative backing [and] the government and opposition need to use this (positive) narrative whenever talking publicly about gun laws.”

This commitment is one of the biggest wins shooters could hope for. This is because:

  • our problems with the media;
  • the laws we hate;
  • bureaucrats; and
  • the negativity from the public

come from the failure of government to frame the debate properly. If the government changed the way it talked about shooters, it would go a long way to changing how our needs are seen by the broader community.

The commitment to put this into law means that no government or opposition can then lawfully talk about shooters or gun laws without acknowledging the good side of firearm usage.   It also forces the regulators to give that priority whenever they deal with shooters.

Changing the way government deals with us can only lead to better laws and treatment by government.

Shooting to be included in the Commonwealth Games

“Shooting needs to be included for the 2026 Commonwealth Games. The inclusion of shooting needs to be announced before this year’s state election”

This is a strong position that recognises the view we, and Shooting Australia, have long expressed that shooting is too important to leave out from the 2026 Commonwealth Games which will be held in regional Victoria. 

Currently Labor has excluded shooting and put any final decision until after the election – when it will be too late.

A vote for Labor is a vote to keep shooting out of the Games.

Being clearer about Labor's 10 year gun bans

“The current laws around [Firearm Prohibition Orders] needs to be redefined to provide a clearer link to a proven criminal history”.

When Labor brought in Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs), it claimed they were targetted at bikies and criminals.

However, the legislation does not say that.  FPOs can be issued to anyone that Victoria Police does not approve of.   That includes shooters who challenge the quality of their decisions.

This commitment is to change the law so that, like New South Wales, Firearm Prohibition Orders can only be used against the people who were the original targets, bikies and criminals.  Not us.

Duck hunting - and providing a key legal protection

“Duck hunting should be retained. The duck hunting season should not be modified unless specifically endorsed by duck hunting organisations”

This is not a new position for the Nationals, but it is a big change for the Liberal Party. 

At the last election, the newly elected Liberal MP for Brighton, James Newbury, called on his party to move to ban duck hunting.  Newbury said

”Victoria’s natural environment and wildlife are a unique part of this state’s identity and a modern Liberal Party must speak out on behalf of the promotion and preservation of them.”

The SSAA went to Newbury’s defence, saying that he didn’t mean what he said. Click here to see what they said.  That’s like saying that John Howard wasn’t really anti-shooting.

Instead, the Coalition now fully supports duck season, thanks to the NSC.

Let the coalition know you support these policies!

POLICY WINS for shooters are rare. Let the Coalition knows it’s on a winner. 

Click the box to send an email to key Coalition MPs Peter Walsh, Matthew Guy and Brad Battin urging them to stick with these policies – and to do more!

Having trouble sending the email? Click here for the solution

APPLE USERS: you might find that your program doesn’t recognise the “;” separators. You may need to manually add the addresses in the Apple Mail program.

BLANK ADDRESSES:  Other users might have problems having the addresses appear. Here they are:

peter.walsh@parliament.vic.gov.au; matthew.guy@parliament.vic.gov.au; brad.battin@parliament.vic.gov.au; bruce.atkinson@parliament.vic.gov.au; admin@nationalshooting.org.au

The text of the suggested email is:

Dear Sirs,
As a shooter, I was very pleased to see the National Shooting Council’s report on the position being taken by the Coalition as it heads towards this Victorian State Election.
The policies are responsible, achievable, and take positive steps in the right direction to help support all Victorian shooters. At this stage, Labor has no policies for shooters and its actions to date suggest that if re-elected, it will only seek to put more restrictions on shooters in place.
I would be even more pleased to see if the Coalition could release a policy document that confirms what it has told the NSC, as this will enable the NSC to help ensure the Coalition’s policies are read and understood by even more shooters.
Again, I would like to thank you for your support. I look forward to hearing from you.

... but what about the Coalition’s position in 1996?

We know that when it comes to being asked to accept the Coalition’s position, many shooters will point to 1996.  As offensive as 1996, this is not a perfect world which is why we’ll support good policies to encourage the major parties to continue to move in that direction.

Whatever you might want to see the parties to commit to, we need to lay the ground work for better policies overf the longer term.  Not just for better access, but changes to how our regulators behave and maybe a portfolio dedicated to helping the shooting sports.  This is the start of that journey.

... but will they win?

As many of you will be aware, the Victorian Coalition is having a tough time gaining ground on Labor and it’s not clear if they will win against Labor.

However, there are two ways we could win the push for a better deal for shooters.

The first is a miraculous come back by the Coalition. The second is that by coming out early for shooters, Labor will see that we mean business and come up with something better for shooters … or run the risk of losing the shooters’ vote.

Regardless of who wins the election, we’re going to build on these commitments at every election with both sides until shooters get the support they need.  This will take years to achieve, but that’s the journey we’re on now, and why shooters like you support the NSC.

Unless Labor changes it’s tune, we need shooters to turn their BACKS ON LABOR

Follow our election coverage

As the election approaches, we’ll be publishing information on what all of the political parties contesting the election do, including the preference deals they cut. 

14 thoughts on “VIC STATE ELECTION: Vic Coalition sets the pace with pro-shooting policies

  1. Don Brooke says:

    I don’t believe anything they say – I recommend Victorians find someone else to vote for besides the major parties – we need to vote for people who believe what we believe – when a major party offers concessions to shooters it is only for a venal purpose – we should not support venal people – sport target shooting and hunting are what we engage in – the promises address, in a minor way, those activities – the right to keep and bear arms for self defence is the paramount objective – the major parties will not even consider relinquishing power to recognise that right – because they don’t think like us.

  2. mark whiteley says:

    the problem the coalition will have in the Vic election is that like in the federal election many coalition supporters will not vote either Lib or Labor seeing them both as that same thing,
    the coalition only needs to come out as conservative being centre right and they will have a better chance
    promise to be there for the people, all the people not just the alphabet squad and rainbow dreamers

  3. Jethro says:

    Don’t forget that there is an army of Labor politicians who are anti duck hunting. See this as the final warning for fellow duck hunters in Victoria. Though some of whom will not be contesting this election the evidence is still very clear. The Age published a list of the anti duck hunting political fraternity:
    Labor

    Lizzie Blandthorn
    Chris Brayne
    Josh Bull
    Darren Cheeseman
    Jordan Crugnale
    Will Fowles
    Matt Fregon
    Katie Hall
    Dustin Halse
    Jill Hennessy
    Gary Maas
    Steve McGhie
    Robin Scott
    Nick Staikos
    Jackson Taylor
    Kat Theophanous
    Ingrid Stitt
    Sonja Terpstra
    John Kennedy
    Richard Wynne
    Nina Taylor
    Martin Fole

    Liberal

    James Newbury
    Bruce Atkinson

    Other parties/crossbench

    Ali Cupper
    Samantha Ratnam
    Sam Hibbins
    Tim Read
    Ellen Sandell
    Catherine Cumming
    Fiona Patten
    Stuart Grimley
    Tania Maxwell
    Clifford Hayes
    Rod Barton
    Andy Meddick

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/labor-in-a-flap-on-duck-hunting-internal-pressure-mounts-to-ban-shooting-season-20220901-p5beja.html

    • Trevor Pollock says:

      Thankyou for the information.
      I am no longer a duck shooter,gave it away about 35 years ago,but still shoot vermin.
      The problem is these beaurocrats don’t understand the damage ducks do to crops,then when ducks breed up in the seasons ahead farmers & crop growers are tearing their hair out trying to cull duck numbers.A typical clutch of duck eggs is 10 – 14 each nesting.

      • Jethro says:

        Not only do they not understand the ducks and they problems they pose to farmers. More importantly they just don’t understand shooters. Whether you’re a varmint shooter, sporting shooter or a hunter, they just have no understanding of our lifestyle. There’s a very loud and very small minority faction that are making a lot of noise. All shooters need to understand the problem we face. That is the disconnection between some people and the shooting lifestyle in general and the way these minority factions take advantage of it to try and end all shooting one segment at a time.

  4. Bob Thomas says:

    Voting Liberal will be difficult after 96. But with a long term strategy I can pinch my nose and put em first with Labor just above the gangrenes.

  5. M says:

    Both major parties have a track record of disparaging sports shooters/hunters as second class citizens whenever cheap political points are ready to be scored. I stopped voting for them. You want change – vote for someone else. You want to show them you’re serious – vote someone else. Liberal Democrats seem like a good option at present.

  6. J Pirie says:

    In the past the LNP have made all the right noises before an election in NSW and when elected it was not in any ones portfolio ??????????? not my job

  7. Philip Walter says:

    Australian shooters have been the scape goat for political and police persicution for 22 years
    We need to mKe the people aware thAt we are not the problem that the news and media make us out to be
    We like our duck for dinner we like our hunting AND outdoor activities WE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM

  8. Paul says:

    Some friendly advice about voting in the Upper House or Legislative Council. For the sake of transparency I am not Victorian, but I do follow politics and I know how the Victorian Upper House is structured.
    Firstly don’t just mark a ‘1’ in the box above the line. You are not using your vote to maximum advantage. It would take only ten seconds to number the required minimum of five candidates below the line, and probably less than a minute if you wanted to number more than that, depending on how many you wanted to number.
    Find out who the shooter friendly candidates in your Upper House Region are, so you can be ready and prepared, come polling day.

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