The shooting community negotiated for three months with the Australian government, finally came to an agreement and then the government had second thoughts.
Australians with a Category A firearm licence can now purchase the Adler lever-action shotgun, “The Weekly Times” reported.
Many hunters were excited about the release of the seven-shot capacity gun and more than 7,000 orders had been placed.
However, after firearms importer NIOA released a video of the Turkish-made gun discharging seven shots in rapid succession prior to the gun’s arrival in Australia, the Australian Government banned its import into the country.
The reason given was that state police chiefs expressed their concerns that the shotgun was “technologically advanced” and was too similar to semi-automatic shotguns, which are heavily restricted under Australian law.
Firearms experts were quick to correct this statement, remarking that lever action firearms have been around for about 100 years, but the views of acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright with Victoria Police were unchanged.
“It seems just like a semiautomatic to me,” he told Radio 3AW.
The government’s controversial move sparked an outcry from the shooting community, with many shooters contacting members of parliament to express their views.
The gun control lobby was also very vocal in support of the police chiefs’ views.
One letter writer to rural newspaper “The Weekly Times” claimed: “It is not just the ‘anti-gun people,’ but the general public who are against this.”
However, when “The Weekly Times” ran a poll asking readers whether they thought laws should be changed to make the Adler a Category C firearm, the results were overwhelmingly in favor of shooter’s rights to own the shotgun under current laws.
One reader remarked: “They have been around for well over 100 years, and suddenly they are a problem? Typical well-informed expert loonies.”
The debate raged for several months, with the Australian government finally allowing the import of the five-shot version of the Adler last week.
Despite this victory for sportsmen, the government has decided to review the National Firearms Agreement.
Pro-shooting NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm commented on the move, saying, “the Government could be looking to ban all lever and pump-action shotguns.”