One Nation Tried To Get Funding From America’s NRA To Weaken Australia’s Gun Laws
A bombshell investigation by Al Jazeera has revealed people in Australia's One Nation party tried to get millions of dollars of funding from the America's National Rifle Association in exchange for weakening the country's gun laws.
THREAD- Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) March 25, 2019
Days after the Christchurch massacre, New Zealand banned assault rifles.
But in Australia, the right-wing @OneNationAus party wants to weaken gun laws with the help of the NRA.
Our 3 year undercover investigation reveals#HowToSellAMassacre https://t.co/6qaeVwbJV3 pic.twitter.com/9UjAIyoWnB
The news organisation spent three years putting the report together, which included secret cameras and microphones that caught various members in the act.
One of the recordings show the party's Queensland leader, Steve Dickson, and Pauline Hanson's chief of staff James Ashby, speaking to members of the NRA about getting more funding.
In one of the videos, Dickson can be heard saying to members of the NRA: "We get the balance of power, very simply that means that we have the testicles of the Government in our hand at every given stage.
"And guns, in the scheme of things, are still going to be the be-all and end-all."
In Washington, Dickson regaled NRA members with stories about Muslims invading Australia.- Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) March 25, 2019
Our investigation reveals how the politics of fear sells guns. https://t.co/6qaeVwbJV3 #HowToSellAMassacre pic.twitter.com/sgIcysFuVd
He was also recorded complaining about Muslim immigration into Australia and alleged that 'gangs' were terrorising neighbourhoods. One of the NRA officials, media liaison Lars Dalseide, explained how Dickson could use news reports on these 'gangs' to push for a weakening of the country's gun laws.
Dalseide also explained how to respond when gun reformers speak out after mass shootings.
"How dare you stand on the graves of those children to put forward your political agenda?' Just shame them to the whole idea," Dalseide told the group.
Dickson replied to that simply with: "I love that."
We also joined @OneNationAus in meetings with the NRA's media team who taught them how to smear campaigners for gun reform after a mass-shooting. https://t.co/6qaeVwbJV3 #HowToSellAMassacre pic.twitter.com/bBhlbYtc0c- Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) March 25, 2019
Australia is usually held up as one of the leaders of gun reform. The island nation clamped down hard on weapons after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 where a man killed 35 people with a semi-automatic weapon.
Since the special report aired, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hasn't minced his words.
"We have reports that One Nation officials basically sought to sell Australia's gun laws to the highest bidders, to a foreign buyer, and I find that abhorrent," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
"When John Howard put those laws in under a Coalition government, they were put in to protect Australians.
Reports that senior One Nation officials courted foreign political donations from the US gun lobby to influence our elections & undermine our gun laws that keep us safe are deeply concerning.- Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 25, 2019
"No law should be up to the highest bidder as some part of foreign interference."
Pressure is now on party leader Pauline Hanson to reveal if she knew anything of these secret meetings and funding plans.
The ABC reports that there is no evidence to suggest One Nation ever received any money from the NRA or any other group Ashby and Dickson met during their trip to America.
Featured Image Credit: PA