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 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.
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.
“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’.
“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 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.
“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 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.
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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.
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