ONE OF THE PROBLEMS with politics in shooting is that it’s us older blokes who are going on about it which doesn’t represent the broader population of shooters, especially the booming number of shooters in their 20s and 30s.
However every now and again, we come those who we think will help carry the flag forward. It’s those shooters we need to carry the fight forward.
LAWSON HARPER might be one of them. He’s 22, a bloke from the land who knows his guns, and someone we reckon has what it takes.
In this article, we’ll show you an article he wrote that delves into the political problems we have, from the perspective of a younger shooter who will definately be affected by what the WA government is doing.
We know politics bores a lot of people, but the problems shooters out west have are well documented and going to get worse if they aren’t tacked. It’s also something shooters in others states / territories need to read, so that we don’t have this cancer spread through the National Firearms Agreement.
HAVING GROWN UP ON A FARM as a primary producer, taking part in sports shooting, pest and vermin control, and now as a professional shooter, firearms have been an essential part of my life.
From growing up seeing my father euthanise sick stock on the farm, entering rifle competitions, clay target shooting with friends and my job professionally shooting vermin, I can comfortably say one size does not fit all with firearms use!
I utilise multiple different firearms and calibres for my occupation, where I predominantly shoot and harvest wild kangaroo professionally for pet meat, saving costly damage to the agricultural industry whilst providing a sustainable source of meat for pet owners.
Aside from shooting kangaroos, I also use firearms to control wild pig, dog, fox and rabbit populations.
Since graduating from Muresk with a degree in agribusiness, I worked around multiple farming enterprises across the state before choosing this work path to fund further university studies.
It’s not everyone’s preferred job, with extended hours, vast distances needed to be covered, and working remotely and early into the following morning.
It’s a skilled profession requiring consistent marksmanship to achieve humane culls. However, it is a job that I enjoy and has allowed me to own my own business and provide a product and service.
I AM STRUGGLING TO UNDERSTAND why our police minister appears to be targeting law-abiding licensed firearms ownership at the taxpayer’s expense.
Why do the already strictest laws in the country need to be overhauled? Tweaking is always necessary, but hardly the costly and unrealistic remodelling being proposed.
Changing and modification of laws are inevitable. Why the secrecy about what the new regulations will change? Why not use the valuable feedback of the Firearms Review conducted recently as a starting point for policies?
As opposed to the snippets of information that are gradually leaking out that imply the new laws will restrict legal firearm ownership to an impractical level which will likely just encourage more illegal and secretive ownership.
I think the proposed firearm number limits for recreational shooters are poorly thought out. Even as a professional shooter, most of my firearms are on a recreational licence, which allows me (under the current laws) to use them most flexibly.
MY WORK takes me hundreds of kilometres throughout the Wheatbelt, South-West, Gascoyne, Pilbara and beyond. Thus, I often find the need to travel with multiple calibres of firearms for differing situations.
A shotgun for culling birds is hardly appropriate for euthanising a sheep, nor is a .22LR suitable for shooting a feral scrub bull. And my primary rifle, though very accurately sighted, sees far too much wear and tear in its day-to-day job for me to use it in long-range rifle competitions.
Relying on professional shooters such as myself is an issue because although I will often endeavour to shoot foxes, cats or dogs for farmers, my income is solely focused on shooting kangaroos, as every time I shoot a fox, I absorb the cost of the bullet and the opportunity cost of a kangaroo hearing the shot and dispersing.
I fear that professional shooters and recreational hunters such as myself will not have a correct category for legitimate ownership or be hamstrung in our choices and ability to shoot as a sport.
The very little information that we licensed firearms owners are receiving from an array of sources does not provide any certainty that the new amendments benefit our community or the law-abiding citizens directly affected by said amendments.
As of writing, there has been no confirmation that being a professional shooter will be a legitimate, genuine need to own a firearm.
THE POLICE MINISTER has made his personal opinion on private firearm ownership clear. Still, these amendments will have consequences far-reaching for those being used to justify the change.
I ask that all farmers, recreational shooters, and professional shooters unite together because this affects all of us. The attacks will not stop at this, and if we do not make noise on this issue together, they will pass legislation disregarding the impacts beyond the Perth Metro area.
Will the state government use their powers of acquisition to seize current lawfully licensed firearms? Will they also provide reimbursement for the seized firearms? How will this be funded?
We thought Lawson’s letter was a great read. If you thought it was as well, please send this to shooters you know. No matter where they are.
If you’re not a member of the NSC, then jump on board today. We’re taking the fight up for shooters and will be more effective, the more shooters we have behind us. For starters, we’ll be showing this page to some key politicians so they know exactly what the real sentiment among the shooting voting demographic is.