In a clear demonstration of just how far anti-gunners will go and how convoluted they will make their arguments, gun ban advocates in Australia have been pushing to permanently ban a lever action shotgun that is based on technology that is over 150 years old.
The gun, made by Adler Arms, is a lever action 12 gauge shotgun that has a seven round tube fed magazine. While this would make the Adler rather routine in many firearm circles here in the United States, this is apparently a scary firearm to the anti-gunners in Australia. Greens Party Senator Penny Wright said the Adler shotgun was “dangerous,” claiming “If this rapid-fire gun got into the wrong hands, there is a real concern that we could see a repetition of the tragic events we've seen in the past.”
Since Australia has already banned semi-auto and pump action firearms in almost all circumstances, this gun would offer farmers and hunters something more effective than double barrel shotguns, especially for hunting invasive species, such as feral pigs, that are causing havoc in many parts of rural Australia. Unfortunately, that argument fell on deaf ears to the anti-gunners, who mostly live in Australia’s urban centers. But rural Australians argued forcefully that from a utilitarian standpoint, they need what this firearm can do.
Mayor Ray Brown of Western Downs in Queensland, told ABC Rural, "I know that if I came across a mob of feral pigs, if I only had a two-shot shotgun, the possibility is (of killing) two, three pigs maximum. (With) a multi-shot weapon I'd end up with six or seven, and to me that's a significant increase."
But just as in the United States, Australia’s anti-gunners just don’t get it. Samantha Lee, head of a group called “Gun Control Australia” said this about the gun, “Look, this gun would blow away a pig, not just stop it.” Clearly Ms. Lee fails to understand: that is exactly what the shotgun is intended to do, eliminate the feral pigs.
Now the good news, the Australian government, in part thanks to some old-fashioned political horse-trading, has decided to lift the ban after one year. New South Wales Liberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm agreed to oppose a Labor party amendment on border security to win the concession that will allow the ban on importation of the Adler shotgun to expire next year. Australia’s gun-owning community welcomed the deal, but as Mayor Brown explained, they would like the government to move faster.
He insisted the ban should be lifted sooner. “We've got the problem now. As we've had quite a few years of flooding and now we're into drought, we have a very large build-up of feral animal numbers,” Mayor Brown said. “Our rural landowners are calling out for this, I think they should be listened to. It should not be governed by certain people in certain areas saying 'oh, we don't want it'.”
Let’s hope that the Australian government listens to the rural citizens who are on the front line in the battle against invasive species, and not the urban elite gun banners.