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Labor states’ shutdown of firearm shops has sparked a massive backlash 

Booming gun club membership and interstate ammo runs: How Labor states’ shutdown of firearm shops has sparked a backlash

  • Queensland and Victoria banned gun and ammo sales amid COVID-19
  • Gun dealers have rallied behind the National Shooting Council to appeal the ban 
  • Customers have travelled across state borders to purchase firearms and ammo 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

The closure of gun shops in Labor states during the coronavirus lockdown has sparked a backlash among firearm owners

Queensland and Victoria banned the sales of guns and ammunition for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic after they saw panic buying.

Gun dealers have rallied behind the National Shooting Council (NSC) and lodged an appeal against the ban as they fear it will put dozens of dealers out of business, while gun owners have been forced to travel across borders to buy products. 

Queensland and Victoria have banned the sales of guns and ammunition for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic after they saw panic buying that resembled other sectors

The NSC, which represents more than 8,000 shooters across Australia, says there has been a four-fold increase in its membership in Victoria as a result of the ban.

It lodged an appeal against the shutdown with Victoria’s Firearms Appeals Committee last week. 

They argue a coronavirus shutdown will destroy the business of many gun store owners and have lodged proceedings in both states. 

Some gun lobby groups have also taken out advertisements in newspapers that protest the bans. 

Gun dealers have rallied behind the National Shooting Council (NSC) and lodged an appeal against the ban, for which the state's governments have not announced an end date, as they argue it could put dozens of dealers out of business

Gun dealers have rallied behind the National Shooting Council (NSC) and lodged an appeal against the ban, for which the state’s governments have not announced an end date, as they argue it could put dozens of dealers out of business

Gun shop owners outside the banned states have reported people travelling across borders to get their hands on firearms and ammunition.  

Gun dealer Belinda Mann told The Age she sold firearms to customers who were from South Australia to generate income. 

While a gun user said he heard that farmers have travelled across the border to New South Wales to buy ammunition for pest control. 

Sheep farmers in western Victoria said they had almost run out of ammunition to keep foxes off their property. 

‘We are losing five to six sheep a night and burning them the next day because we can’t defend stock,’ said one farmer. 

Some gun lobby groups have also taken out advertisements in newspapers that protest the bans.

Some gun lobby groups have also taken out advertisements in newspapers that protest the bans.

Gun dealers and shooting groups have disputed the rise in firearm sales in early March was due to panic-buying, so the premise of the shutdown was wrong.

They believe the increase was because shooters were buying firearms and ammunition before a 15 per cent price increase was applied on many products. 

The price increase was planned to start on April 1 and was sparked by a drop in the value of the Australian dollar compared to the US dollar. 

Gun dealers also said duck-hunting season was about to begin, which also creates increased demand. 

Gun shop owners outside the banned states have reported people travelling across borders to get their hands on firearms and ammo

Gun shop owners outside the banned states have reported people travelling across borders to get their hands on firearms and ammo

Victoria Police maintains there was evidence of panic buying after more than double the average 1,000 firearm applications were lodged during the final week of March.  

The ban applies to people buying guns for recreation and sport but does not apply to farmers who need them to shoot pests or injured livestock. 

The same ban applies in Queensland, with the only people who will have access to arms dealers are workers who use weapons for their jobs: farmers, commercial pest and feral animal controllers, vets, shark control contractors and a number of other state and federal bodies.   

Daily Mail Australia has contacted NIOA, Australia’s largest privately-owned supplier of arms and ammunition, for comment.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk