Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has met with NIOA boss Robert Nioa, who pitched SIFA’s request for a firearms advisory council. Pictures: Jack Tran / The Courier Mail
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has met with NIOA boss Robert Nioa, who pitched SIFA’s request for a firearms advisory council. Pictures: Jack Tran / The Courier Mail

Gun lobby wins Peter Dutton’s ear

PETER Dutton is considering establishing a "firearms advisory council" after a request from the Australian gun lobby.

The Home Affairs Minister has told Guardian Australia he will consider the request to set up the committee after meeting with a Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) representative in Queensland in February.

It comes after SIFA boasted about the meeting on social media, saying it was working with Home Affairs to formalise the establishment of a firearms advisory council that would allow industry to "review proposed regulatory changes" for "efficiency, appropriateness and intent".

In a video posted to YouTube this month, SIFA communications officer Laura Patterson said the lobby group would also help the gun industry "review existing legislation for precision in language and purpose".

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is considering establishing a “firearms advisory council” after a request from the Australian gun lobby. Picture Kym Smith
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is considering establishing a “firearms advisory council” after a request from the Australian gun lobby. Picture Kym Smith

A spokeswoman for Mr Dutton told The Guardian the Minister would consider the proposal but the "fundamentals" of Australia's gun laws would not be changing.

"The minister meets regularly with relevant stakeholders across the home affairs portfolio and hears a range of views," she said.

"In relation to firearms policy generally, the government has a strong policy in place and the fundamentals of that won't be changing.

"The government has recently received a proposal from Sifa which it will consider in due course."

Mr Dutton reportedly met with SIFA director Robert Nioa, one of Australia's largest gun dealers and the son-in-law of federal Queensland MP Bob Katter.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez reacts during her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. Picture: AFP/ Rhona Wise
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez reacts during her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. Picture: AFP/ Rhona Wise

The report comes as students across the United States staged a walkout from their classrooms protesting for tougher gun control laws.

The #ENOUGH National School Walkout began at 10am local time (1am AEDT) on Wednesday across the country.

It lasted 17 minutes commemorating the 17 students and staff killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14.



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