The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia today refuted assertions made by Michael Moore, CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) about the intentions of one of this nation’s oldest and most respected industries.
The PHAA’s comments that shooting industry experts should not have a formalised engagement model through which to raise risks to public safety and national security and sovereignty demonstrates an unjustifiably simplistic understanding of the National Firearms Agreement.
“Mr Moore appears not to understand that the past Reference Groups were formed so that industry and government could work together to craft Australia’s internationally feted national approach to firearms identification and categorisation,” says Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia Executive Officer Rod Drew.
“Since the advisory mechanism has laid inactive, industry experts in defence, law enforcement and civilian supply have had no channel through which to uphold obligations to communicate items on our risk registers or to participate fully in the execution of the Australia-United States Defence Trade Treaty,” he says.
SIFA Communications and Research’s Laura Patterson says the industry peak body’s hands are clean on its call for the Federal Firearms advisory mechanism.
“We have been open, honest and approachable about our proposal to Minster Dutton that the Department of Home Affairs return to formalised engagement around important Australian firearms issues,” Mrs Patterson says.
“We have published videos, posts and media releases explaining our request – all of which are publicly available. It is factually wrong and ethically questionable of Mr Moore to associate the request of the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia with the NRA of the United States, and his assertion that Australians should be ‘alarmed’ by our activities is concerning and misleading,” she says.
“PHAA itself develops policy options and advocates for these with governments at all levels. These policy options presumably rely upon facts and evidence-based research outcomes informed by skilled, knowledgeable and generous experts. SIFA upholds the same standards of research and policy development,” Mrs Patterson states.
The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia notes that the Public Health Association of Australia enjoys formal industry to government engagement via the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
“SIFA would be very happy to accept an invitation for a seat on either Federal Government Body to represent the social, cultural, health and wellbeing outcomes enjoyed by Australian shooters,” Mrs Patterson says.
- Michael Moore’s comments demonstrate superficial regard for the management of safe firearms policy in Australia over the last 22 years;
- Every Federal Government regardless of political persuasion has had an expert committee advising on firearm policy since the introduction of the National Firearms Agreement in 1996;
- SIFA’s proposal is no different to any other committee established by previous Labor or Liberal governments;
- The proposal calls for the inclusion of Federal Government Firearms Experts from Borders Force, Department of Home Affairs, ACIC and the Federal Police as been the practice for the past two decades;
- Input from non-firearms experts would have zero impact on community safety;
- Past Health Industry contributions to firearms security in Australia include its opposition to a Register of Prohibited Persons and opposition to Mandatory Reporting of Firearms Owners experiencing Acute Mental Illness – both of which the Shooting Industry supported.
Further Information: James Walsh, Executive Officer 0419 933 066