Australia -(Ammoland.com)- The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party SFF in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has gained a seat in the lower house in the 2019 elections. They now have three seats out of 135 in the lower house, and two seats out of 42 in the upper house, the Legislative Council. David Leyonhjelm, a Libertarian, is expected to win a seat in the upper house and to vote with the SFF on firearms issues.
Because the NSW government is a parliamentary system, the small parties can have a disproportionate impact. In the lower house, the SFF has the same number of seats as the Green party. The 2019 election was held on 23 March. Only half of the upper house, the Legislative council was up for election.
NSW has a complicated 2nd and 3rd preference election system. They system takes numerous re-counts and calculations in close races. The complete results will not be know for a few days, about the middle of April.
In a Parliamentary system, coalitions are formed to make a majority government. If the SFF party becomes necessary to form a majority government, they will be able to demand some concessions to their agenda.
Here is the platform of the Shooters Fishers Farmers Party regarding firearms:
Our Action Plan:
1. Fight for all law-abiding firearms owners regardless of their chosen discipline or shooting interests.
2. Introduce legislation to enforce mandatory minimum sentences for serious crimes committed with a firearm, to be served consecutively, not concurrently.
3. Campaign for tougher measures and sentencing of illegal firearms trading.
4. Support the introduction of a permanent firearms amnesty so that unregistered or unwanted firearms can be removed from the community without prosecution.
5. Support family and home protection and continue to support measures increasing a person’s right to self-defence.
6. Introduce legislation to remove the recording of ammunition sales which serve no purpose in enhancing community safety and create criminal ‘shopping lists’.
7. Remove paintball markers from the Firearms Act.
8. Continue to drive the establishment of firearms ranges and facilities throughout NSW with an emphasis on increasing disabled access and regional shooting complexes.
9. Broaden the successful ‘Safe Shooting Grants’ program established under Shooters MP Hon John Tingle to support and fund shooting and hunting clubs across NSW.
10. Introduce legislation and exemptions for past and serving defence force and law enforcement personnel to grant licenses and registration of firearms free of any fees.
The points in the platform that appear most important to me are number 5, which would establish the legal ability to use a firearm in self defense, and number 10, which would provide an incentive for service in the Australian Defence Force and law enforcement.
Those exceptions exist in many American States.
The reforms may seem mild to American gun owners, with the strong protections that have been maintained due to the influence of the Second Amendment. They are important reforms for Australian gun owners in New South Wales.
They are opposed by members of the Media and academia in Australia.
Australia had a vigorous gun culture, well accepted and in the mainstream, well into the 1980s. It was only when academia and the Media turned against the gun culture that the severe restrictions were introduced and passed.
Those who are consciously unarmed see no cost in disarming others.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.