Update on the Adler
Currently, the Adler shotgun is being imported as a five shot shotgun. It is legal to license the Adler shotgun in every state in Australia.
There is a lot of talk about the Adler but nothing has changed from when the sun-set clause was introduced a year ago.
In states like Western Australia, where there is no magazine capacity restriction on category A firearms, it is legal to modify the magazine capacity of a lever action shotgun to hold more than 5 cartridges.
Beaton Firearms currently offers two magazine extensions for the Adler shotgun – a 7 shot and a 9 shot.
The Adler – a Political Tool
ABC 720 Drive on the Friday after Shot Show had as a guest speaker the Federal Justice Minister, Michael Keenan, who spoke about the re-classification of the lever action shotgun. I only caught the end of it unfortunately.
His usual political spin provided very little information to any inquiry regarding the Adler and he was almost apologetic to the farmer who phoned up talking about pigs ruining his crops. The general message remained the same however; ‘we do what we want’ – the mantra of modern politics in Australia.
I believe he spoke about how 97% of firearm crime is carried out by those without firearm licenses. But it seems it’s all too easy to target those doing the right thing. Tens of thousands of firearm owners are paying the price because criminals choose to do the wrong thing.
He is justifying this by claiming that in the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) (which was introduced almost 20 years ago) regulation of lever action shotguns was overlooked. The reason that for 20 years politicians have done nothing about lever action shotguns is because, in reality, lever action shotguns have never been a public safety issue.
For politicians, guns fall into the same category as illegal immigrants, asylum seekers, gay rights, terrorists, Asians, unions and other subjects that make certain demographics wet their pants. These subjects aren’t entirely irrelevant but do not deserve the focus they have been getting by our politicians or the media.
The biggest issue the Turnbull government is tackling is their decreasing popularity. They only won the federal election by a relatively slim majority and they need to shore up some support. John Howard won his popularity by making people afraid – it’s not a stretch to think Turnbull would take a leaf out of Howard’s book. Turnbull is creating an issue out of nothing by beating up the Adler, only so he can come down on it to look strong. It’s a smokescreen to keep his other policy shortcomings out of the first few pages of the newspaper, but also meant to appease the more fearful members of his own political party and constituents.
What’s Likely to Change?
They are talking about the re-categorisation of the Adler (and all lever action shotguns) to category B. If this is the case, nothing will change. Applicants will be required to justify a lever action shotgun over a category A shotgun – quite easy to do in a firearms application. I do not believe the re-categorisation to category B will reduce the number of firearms in the lawful firearm community by one firearm.
But the average, law abiding shooter will not be able to get a seven-shot version – Keenan is proposing re-categorising them to category C. Minister Keenan’s reason for this is so a criminal without any firearm training can’t walk into a room and blast away huge numbers of people. It seems Minister Keenan is confused which country he lives in – Australia or USA. Lunatics walking into classrooms with firearms is a phenomenon almost entirely exclusive to the USA. But Australian politicians continue to shamefully use the murder of American school children to create fear in Australia for their own political gain.
Our own Police Minister, in response to my previous inquiry, gave me a long-winded explanation of the process for the assessment of the Adler lever action shotgun. A single sentence within her response alludes to her opinion on the matter –
“Western Australia supports addressing the anomaly regarding classification of lever action shotguns”
It takes a special type of arrogance to simultaneously ignore everyone and parades your position as that of “Western Australia”. Our Police Minister invests little time in firearm related issues as it is – I wouldn’t be surprised if her letters are written by Keenan’s secretary.
Why this will never work
It seems, once again, that the politicians forget that criminals do not care about firearm legislation. They seem to think that if we restrict licensing for shotguns with magazines larger than 5 shot then criminals will do the right thing and keep theirs to only 5 shot. These changes to licensing of lever action shotguns will not influence firearm crime because criminals do not pay any attention to legislation.
Do criminals want a 7 shot magazine?
A seven-shot magazine requires the barrel to be twenty inches in length or longer. With a five-shot magazine, a criminal could cut the barrel down to be no longer than the stock – Monis did exactly this with the shotgun he used in the Lindt café. A five-shot magazine makes the gun very easy to modify to be much more concealable. If the gun were fitted with a seven shot or longer magazine a criminal couldn’t do this without ruining the magazine. Concealable is what criminals want – if you’ve got an unlicensed firearm you need to hide it. Criminals will not want a seven-shot lever action shotgun.
Politicians – fix the effect, not the problem
Unlicensed firearms are a means to an end – they are not an end in themselves. The bottom line is, criminals are interested in money and power. Criminals don’t take drugs so that they can sit around and admire their unlicensed firearm collection. Criminals use weapons to protect their interests – they exert power and control, threaten, intimidate and rob people. This can be done with guns, knives, blunt instruments or any number of implements. Guns are only one of the tools used by criminals – they are not the reason that criminals exist.
If Politicians were serious about reducing crime they would tackle the driving factors of crime, not the tools used by criminals. Take away the ability for criminals to make money from criminal activity and the criminal activity will stop – no one is going to import drugs if there is no money to be made. But for our politicians, it seems, prevention is always all too hard.
But then if there were no criminals, terrorists, boat people, gays, Asians or unions, there would be nothing that politicians could tell us to be fearful of.
I would recommend contacting your local Minister for Police (Western Australia’s in Liza Harvey) and expressing your dismay at the exaggeration of this issue. If you don’t do this, sign up to our Newsletter (on the home page of our website). We will keep you filled in on firearm legislation as it happens and we will have plenty to say coming up to the next state election – the more people we have behind us the louder we can yell and the more politicians will listen.
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Please keep in mind that these are Zaine’s personal comments – they are not a reflection of the opinions of any other staff or directors of Beaton Firearms.