Shooters come out all guns blazing in favour of rapid-fire shotgun

Wagga Firearms owner Andrew Butts with a lever-action shotgun. Picture: Les Smith.

Wagga Firearms owner Andrew Butts with a lever-action shotgun. Picture: Les Smith.

Riverina farmers and gun-owners have backed calls to legalise a cheap, rapid-fire shotgun. 

Wagga Firearms owner Andrew Butts demonstrates a lever-action shotgun

The Abbott government banned the seven-shot Adler A110 in 2015, amid concerns it could be modified to fire 11 rounds without reloading.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday extended the ban until states and territories hash out how to classify the contentious firearm and what sort of permit a gun-owner would require.

NSW Nationals leader and deputy premier Troy Grant will seek the state cabinet’s support to free up imports for farmers by making gun owners state their purpose for owning the firearm.

Wagga Firearms owner Andrew Butts has back-orders to import the banned gun in the event it is legalised, but most of his customers have bought the legal five-shot model in the interim.

Mr Butts claimed the decision to ban the gun was a “hysterical knee-jerk reaction” to extravagant marketing.

“There are already other, more expensive, lever-action shotguns on the market, which have a ten-shot magazine,” Mr Butts said.

“The reason everyone’s jumping up and down about the Adler is because it was marketed as a fast and furious way to get around gun laws.”

The Adler costs $800, which is one of the keys to its popularity, compared to the legal Chiappa seven-shot model that retails for $1,900.

Mr Butts supported farmers’ demands for more fire power. 

“A lot of times you can shoot pigs three times and they still won't fall over,” he said.

Binya farmer Helen Dalton backed legalisation to contain an “explosion” of feral pigs and goats since the government ushered in environmental water releases and land-banking of national parks.

“The explosion of feral animals is just extraordinary and they need to be controlled,” Ms Dalton said.

“If farmers need this shotgun to manage the population, then so be it.”

Wagga MP Daryl Maguire was non-committal when asked whether the shotgun should be legalised.

“The priority in all gun-control policies is to get guns out of the hands of criminals,” Mr Maguire said.

NSW Farmers’ firearms spokesman David Clarke said the agricultural lobby group supported the reclassification of lever action shotguns – including the Adler –  so that anyone who seeks access to them has to declare the purpose for which they are being used.

“Farmers have valid reasons for needing sensible access to firearms, for example,  to undertake routine control activities of pests such as wild pigs and dogs,” Mr Clarke said.

“Numbers of feral pests have been building across regional NSW in recent years and they cause enormous damage to crops and livestock.”

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