New research from the Australia Institute finds the Australian gun lobby is as large and spends as much on political campaigns per capita as the National Rifle Association does in the USA.
The new Australia Institute report, commissioned by Gun Control Australia, also find that these pro-gun lobby groups are also utilising alternative political strategies of supporting crossbench election candidates on unrelated hot-button election issues such as electricity pricing in an effort to create a pathway to ultimately undermine Australia’s strict gun laws.
- The size of the Australian gun lobby is comparable to the US gun lobby when compared in per capita terms
- Gun lobby groups have donated $1.7 million to Australian political parties over the past eight years
- Bob Katter’s Australian Party has been the biggest beneficiary, receiving over $800,000 in political donations
“Many Australians would be surprised to learn that the Australian gun lobby is just as large in Australia as the US gun lobby is when compared on a per capita basis,” said Bill Browne, researcher at the Australia Institute.
“There is already a precedent among political parties to screen political donations by industry, many parties do not accept tobacco industry donations and the same could go for gun lobby donations.”
“An NRA style gun lobby is flourishing in Australia. It has deep pockets, extensive networks and parliamentary representation,” said Sam Lee, president of Gun Control Australia.
“Like the NRA, the aim of the Australian gun lobby is to dismantle our gun laws. Gun laws that have kept Australians safe for decades.”
“The lobby includes gun manufacturers and importers for whom guns are big business. For them, strong gun laws are bad for business. To put it simply, if you weaken gun laws, you can sell more guns.”
Tanya Martin Office Manager
Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser