BLAST: Gympie gun dealer and lobbyist Ron Owen has shot Gympie once more to Australia-wide pro-gun prominence over a new national debate.
BLAST: Gympie gun dealer and lobbyist Ron Owen has shot Gympie once more to Australia-wide pro-gun prominence over a new national debate. Renee Albrecht

Gympie 'shoots' to national pro-gun prominence in new debate

LICENSED Australian gun owners have been unfairly demonised by "emotional claptrap" from anti-gun lobbyists, according to Gympie gun dealer and national pro-gun identity Ron Owen.

Mr Owen blasted the recent ABC Four Corners program, "Big Guns," which exposed strong lobbying by a group it linked to gun manufacturers and their customers.

And he said licensed gun owners were decent law abiding Australians, with a better safety record than doctors.

Mr Owen is president of the Firearm Owners Association of Australia.

"So I am involved, but so too are the innocent two million licensed shooters in Australia who contribute by their purchases to (the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia)."

He said sport shooting was growing fast, with 40 per cent of new shooters being women, a group which some have claimed would be more vulnerable to the use of guns in domestic violence incidents.

"The anti-gun lobby (has) always contributed lots of emotional claptrap to television shows like Four Corners," he said.

He also identified anti-gun campaigning with the work of disgraced professor Paul Wilson, who defamed all of Gympie, famously calling it "Hell Town" in an Australian Penthouse article 21 years ago.

"We have at least two million licensed shooters and over six million registered firearms in Australia, the anti gunners say that in 10 years, four licensed shooters killed people.

"How many people (have) doctors killed in 10 years, how many babies have been murdered, how many Dr Patels are operating in Australia, how many misprescriptions kill people, how many die from doctor negligence?

"Do these anti-gunners know how the innocent licensed shooters are harassed, losing property and rights to serve the red-tape incomprehensible public service nightmare created by their activities?

"When a drunken driver mows down 10 school children and a bus stop, do we blame the car or the truck, do we blame the beer, do we blame vehicle licensing legislation?

"I think most of us would blame the driver.

"We would not blame the millions of other people driving lawfully, same as the two million shooters who are innocent," he said.

He has previously also drawn a parallel with ethnic or other groups in Australia who are protected from discrimination based on the misconduct of a small number of their members.