AL JAZEERA – A three-year undercover operation by Al Jazeera has shown Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party lobbying the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) for millions of dollars to roll back Australia’s strict gun control laws.
* Australia’s One Nation Party Lobbying the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) for Millions of Dollars
* One Nation’s Chief of Staff, James Ashby, hoped to secure $US20 million political donations to “own the lower house and the upper house”.
The party vows to reverse laws banning automatic and semi-automatic weapons in Australia as it sought up to $US20 million in funding from members of the U.S. gun lobby.
The meetings between a delegation from One Nation with officials from the NRA and other pro-gun groups in America were covertly recorded by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit as it followed One Nation on a visit to Washington, DC, in September 2018.
During that visit, Steve Dickson, the leader of the One Nation party in the Australian state of Queensland, told the NRA:
“If we don’t change things, people are going to be looking at Australia and go, ‘Well, it’s okay for them to go down the path of not having guns, it’s ok for them to go down that politically-correct path’. And it’s like a poison. It will poison us all unless we stop it.”
Laws banning automatic and semi-automatic weapons were introduced in Australia following a massacre there in the town of Port Arthur in 1996. The NRA has said it opposes the Australian gun laws.
New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern announced the introduction a similar ban on all military-style assault rifles last week, following the attack on mosques in Christchurch that left 50 dead.
Dickson was accompanied on the U.S. visit by One Nation’s Chief of Staff, James Ashby, who was covertly recorded saying he hoped the trip would lead to him securing the $US20 million in political donations from pro-gun groups there.
“If you had 20, you would own the lower house and the upper house,” Ashby said, referring to Australia’s House of Representatives and Senate. Australia is expected to hold a federal election in May of this year. Dickson added: “You’d have the whole government by the balls.”
Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit infiltrated the U.S. gun lobby to find out how it operates. The unit engaged an Australian undercover reporter, Rodger Muller, to pose as the president of a pro-gun organisation, Gun Rights Australia.
Muller attended the U.S. gun lobby group meetings with Ashby and Dickson and was warned by Ashby to keep their discussions secret.
“We wouldn’t put it in writing. We keep everything out of writing,” Ashby said. “If this gets out, it will f**king rock the boat.”