THE importer of the lever action shotgun banned by the Federal Government late last month, Robert Nioa, says he was "surprised" by the move.
The son-in-law of federal MP Bob Katter, Mr Nioa owns the Brisbane based Adler Hunting Arms Company which was expecting its first shipment of the Turkish made Adler A110 to arrive in late August.
The lever action shotgun features a smooth cycling action and a seven shot tube magazine.
The gun costs less than $800 and is available to anyone who holds a class A or B licence.
Critics, such as the Gun Control Lobby, argue the new design makes the gun easier to fire than older models and that it should only be available to those with the restricted Class C licence.
Late last month, the Federal Government moved to block imports of the Adler lever action (pictured below) while a review occurs on its classification, including who can own the firearm.
Mr Nioa has already sold over 7000 of the guns in Australia and said he was surprised given that design had been legal in Australia for more than 130 years.
He said no State Government or Federal Government department had expressed any concern to him about the importation of the firearm.
“Most surprising is that there has been no public safety issue related to Lever Action shotguns in Australia for the 130 years that they have been available,” he said.
“In terms of firearms readily available to licensed firearm owners in Australia, Lever action shotguns are the least popular category of firearm, have the shortest effective range (50 yards), one of the lowest magazine capacities and the longest reloading time.
“The gun is needed for feral pest control in rural areas. Primarily crop protection from birds and control of disease spread by wild pigs.”
Mr Nioa said there had been no consultation with farmers on the issue, licensed firearm owners or the Australian firearms industry and no government spokesman had been able to articulate a reason for the ban.
He said that he was aware that front line police were pressing governments for more resources to fight the illicit use of illegal firearms by criminals and “this might simply be a cheap way for governments to ignore the front line police and say they have done something”.
“It is much more convenient for government to write a letter to a farmer banning a tool of trade rather than provide the funding that is being requested by front line police,” he said.
Queensland Shooters Union president Graham Park said the ban was misguided and would not deliver the outcomes the government was seeking.
“This ban will have the most impact on primary producers, who already face significant delays and compliance issues in purchasing firearms for primary production purposes,” Mr Park said.
"Tying this ban to recent incidents of terrorism and other violence involving firearms, like the Lindt Cafe siege, shows how misguided this effort is, because they have been committed by non-licensed users with illegal firearms - this is where the government should be focusing.”