Friday, November 28, 2014

Australia:Narooma HuntFest: battleground over gun culture

The gun culture debate ignited again this week with the Eurobodalla Shire Council voting to allow the sale of firearms at next year's Narooma HuntFest. Hunters say they are responsible people engaged in a sport that's highly regulated. They say a Green agenda is driving opposition to HuntFest. Opponents of HuntFest say they are concerned about the growth of a gun culture in Australia.

The first HuntFest, held over the June long weekend this year, had been approved to operate as a showcase for firearms, information on hunting, and a photographic event.

Huntfest organisers had since applied to Council to support an amendment to the festival's Firearms Permit that would allow the sale of firearms the next festival.

The application was passed this week (25 November) by a majority of five to two.

Eurobodalla Shire Council Deputy Mayor Rob Pollock told ABC Local Radio that "The five [Councillors] that voted for it I think feel very strongly that it was a Council facility involved in legal activity and all the safeguards and necessary permits had been retained and regarded."

Cr Pollack pointed to regulations that control the sale and purchase of firearms in New South Wales.

"It's not like you just roll up with your Bankcard or your Mastercard and say 'look I'll have that rifle over there' and then you walk out with it in a brown paper bag under your arm," he said.

"There are strict procedures regarding licensing, regarding sale, regarding when that particular delivery etc can take place. None of the retail sales if they do occur will actually happen within the opening hours of the HuntFest situation."

HuntFest organisers estimate the festival to have attracted about 2300 people and $900,000.

A talkback caller to ABC Local Radio, Peter, who said he had been at the Council meeting, said, "What Council has now done is it has enabled the increase of the availability of guns into the community. It's quite extraordinary."
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Garry said...

The caller, "Peter", really does show an extraordinary level of stupidity...or is it just deceit? Council has in no way acted to increase the number of guns in the community and quite frankly anyone who believes this latest decision has done that demonstrated an inability to process simple facts that makes any contribution to the debate utterly worthless.

Narooma and Eurobodalla residents need drive only an hour either north or south to buy guns, and as the vast majority of people who attend HuntFest are not locals there will be little is any increase in local ownership.

But even if there were, so what? The entire process is a legal one. If these fools do not like guns and forearms ownership their course is clear. They should lobby government for legislative changes, rather than simply picking on local folks going about their own business.

People like "Peter" are petty dictators, too gutless to take on the establishment, they bully the little fella instead. We all know his type and we generally feel pity for their wives and cross the street when we see them.

Dean Weingarten said...

As an American, I view the Australian restrictions on gun ownership, use, and storage with horror.

The process to put them in place reeked of collusion between the government and the media to hoodwink the citizenry.

I see much the same forces at work in the United States.

I am glad to see a gun culture determined to survive in Australia.