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Shotgun import under fire

EDEN-Monaro MP Mike Kelly has weighed into the debate about the high-capacity Adler A110 shotgun, saying he is “deeply concerned” about such weapons falling into the wrong hands.

“I’ve had correspondence with constituents expressing great concern about this weapon and saying it is unnecessary to have a weapon of this kind to handle feral animals, especially with the current risk of domestic terrorism,” he said.

“I understand this type of issue because I grew up on the land and my father had a gun for controlling feral animals and I used to have one myself. We already have the weapons to do the job and we have professional shooters to perform this duty.“

The Adler can fire up to eight shots in as many seconds, but is still not as “rapid fire” as a pump-action shotgun.

A temporary import ban on the Adler, introduced under the Abbott Federal Government in 2015, was set to expire in July, but has been extended by the Turnbull Government.

That angered Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm, who has called the ban “idiotic” and claims he had a deal with ministers Abbott Government Michael Keenan and Peter Dutton to lift it.

The Adler won’t be making an appearance at the Tumut Clay Target Club any time soon.

“We are governed by the NSW Firearms Act, which dictates what types on firearms we can use, and that is not on the list,” the club’s Phil Green said.

“Anyone turning up at our range (on the Wee Jasper Road outside of Tumut) with that weapon would be declined.”

Mr Green, who has been in the shooting game for 40 years, said that despite the Adler’s ammunition capacity, the traditionally used double-barreled shotguns, which carry two rounds, are far more suited to clay target shooting.

“They can fire two rounds quicker than the Adler, although the Adler can fire four shots quicker, but you don’t have time to fire more that many,” he said.

He has mixed feelings about the gun being made more easily available.

“It is a personal issue,” he said. “I don’t have a need for it, but this doesn’t mean that someone else won’t.”

Adelong cattle and sheep farmer Michael Kell also has mixed feelings about the weapon.

“I can see both sides of the argument,” he said. “I know of a couple of people who have them and find them quite good to use, however, any purchase of them should be greatly scrutinized, and who ever owns one should have to secure it in a safe in their homes to prevent them from being stolen. Another option would perhaps be to reduce the magazine’s capacity to three or four shots.”

Mr Kell believes the weapon would be most useful in countering a large group of pigs or rabbits.

“With wild dogs you need a rifle,” he said.

He said his 19-year-old son wanted to buy an Adler, but that he had advised against it.

“I have told him he is better off with an under-over shotgun,” he said.

The NSW Government, meanwhile, agreed yesterday to support the Commonwealth ban on importing lever action shotguns with a capacity of more than five rounds until the gun is reclassified.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant said the NSW Government supports a strengthening of classification of the Adler A110 shotgun from its current A category to a tighter one.

“The NSW Government will always support the strong National Firearms Agreement and its focus will always be on illegal firearms and their harmful effects on the community,” Mr Grant said.

“Our position represents a strengthening of the current A classification of the Adler, but the ultimate decision is a matter for national consensus.

“I look forward to having a rational, evidence-based debate at the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council Meeting of Police and Justice Ministers in Melbourne (today).”