Moree farmer against ban on Adler shotgun, in favour of re-classification

GUN CONTROL: Moree farmer Stewart Hughes supports a lift on the Adler shotgun ban but believes the weapon should be heavily classified.

GUN CONTROL: Moree farmer Stewart Hughes supports a lift on the Adler shotgun ban but believes the weapon should be heavily classified.

A Moree farmer has weighed in on the debate as to whether the rapid-fire Adler shotgun should be allowed to be imported into Australia, saying it should be “pretty tough” for anybody to buy.

Stewart Hughes, a farmer 80km from Moree, said he is in favour of lifting the ban on Adler imports, but doesn’t see a reason why someone would need a seven-round shotgun unless they were a professional shooter.

He said the gun should be classified as as category D weapon, which would make it  difficult for people to get their hands on.

The seven-shot Adler shotgun is banned from Australia until the states and territories can agree on how to classify the gun and the permit a gun-owner would require to use the weapon.

NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant has thrown his support behind lifting the ban and re-classifying the shotgun from a category A to a category B, ensuring those who wanted to import the gun could do so as long as they state a specific purpose such as shooting feral pigs. There has been general disagreement about how the Adler gun should be classified because it can fire seven-shot rounds.

“I’m not a fan of the government banning anything unless it’s going to do someone physical or mental harm,” Mr Hughes said. “Certain sorts of weapons need to be banned, absolutely … but I’m a big fan of the Adler gun being re-classified.

“The biggest threat I see by this type of firearm is theft. Say I had a category D licence and had one of these … the threat would not be from me, it’d be from the person who stole it from me.”

With rural crime and firearm theft on the rise, Mr Hughes said it didn't matter if farmers locked their guns in a safe as thieves could often find ways to get past a lock.

As a farmer and recreational shooter, Mr Hughes said there was no need for a farmer to have a rapid-fire seven-shot gun. “If you need another three rounds then you’re probably not that good of a shot,” he said. “If you’ve got a problem with feral pigs, having an extra three shots is not going to solve your problem. We bait, we trap, rip and destroy nests and use all these different things together. Just shooting alone isn’t going to do it.”

The NSW Cabinet is expected to come to a decision today.

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