News reports about One Nation Queensland party leader Steve Dickson’s trip to the U.S. and meeting with the U.S. National Rifle Association to ask for donations has shone a spotlight on gun lobbying in Australia just weeks after a deadly attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.A report released by progressive think tank The Australia Institute
today showed that Australians do not have to look to the U.S. to find a powerful gun lobby. Australia’s gun lobby organization The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) has spent more per capita on political campaigning as well as donations in 2018 than its U.S. counterpart. Of course, with the U.S. being the more populous nation, the financial power of the NRA is greater in total. This might explain why Australians are, according to the report, generally more familiar with the NRA than they are with SIFA.
The report also listed contributions to SIFA and parties it supported. The biggest contributors to SIFA in between 2011 and 2019 were firearms supplier NOIA and the Noia family as well as the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Queensland). Most donations went to Katter’s Australian Party, followed by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, which was able to win the Barwon, Murray and Orange districts in the NSW election from the National party this weekend.
After the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, when a gunman killed 35, Australia
banned semi-automatic weapons and bought back more than 700,000 guns. New Zealand is currently implementing a similar scheme after the Christchurch attack.