Ross Williamson

Gun lawyer takes a shot at the senate

Jun 21, 2016Jacinta Payne

Candidate Snapshot

Party: ASP
State: WA

The Shooters and Fishers Party renamed itself this year and is heading in to the election as the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party. The party's number two WA candidate for the Senate is experienced Perth firearms lawyer Ross Williamson.

When UniPollWatch approached Williamson for an interview he was surprised, saying the number one candidate Andrew Skerritt was “supposed” to field most of the media attention. Williamson did agree to speak to UniPollWatch briefly.

According to his candidate profile Williamson is the first lawyer in the country to specialise in firearms cases, and is the most experienced firearms lawyer across Australia.

Williamson’s specialities, according to his website, include firearms and weapons charges, customs, game, animal welfare, environmental, and criminal law. These specialities line up well with the Shooters Fishers and Farmers policy issues coming into the election, with the party campaigning for: increased government support for farmers, giving farmers legislative rights and protection for farming, protecting recreational fishers, mandatory sentencing for criminals using firearms, and changing rural water management.

Williamson joined the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party after member Rick Mazza approached him.

“I was invited to stand. I always thought it was a good idea, and then Mazza approached me and proposed it. I said okay,” he told UniPollWatch.

According to Williamson’s candidate profile he is running as a candidate to use his experience with firearm laws towards “drafting new reforms that bring back balance for shooters.”

Growing up as a farmer’s son, Williamson used firearms every day as a child and is still a keen hunter.

He hopes to spread the word of “classic liberalism,” from the writings of people like Adam Smith, “recent knight of the realm” Sir Roger Scruton, and Friedrich von Hayek.

His primary campaign will be for changes to the firearms legislation.

“[We will] campaign for rational, reasonable legislation based on first and foremost a character test. If they pass they should be allowed to have sporting firearms,” he said.

“[These firearms] must be kept safely and securely in regulation compliant cabinets.”

Shooters Fishers and Farmers objects to parts of the legislation, for example five guns are okay and six are not, Williamson says this is “not rational.”

I asked Williamson to clarify what types of firearms they were talking about to be told ‘sporting firearms’. When I asked for further clarification on what is classified a sporting firearm (as I don’t have much knowledge of weapons) Williamson conceded that is “understandable, especially for a young woman from the city.”

So what are ‘sporting firearms’?

“Sporting firearms are used for sport as opposed to military use. All firearms are either sporting use or military use,” he finally said.

When asked the party stance on other election issues such as marriage equality, HECS and GST, Williamson said he didn’t know, and that UniPollWatch would need to speak to Skerritt.  

Ross Williamson is brought to you by Edith Cowan University

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