Bendigo-based Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie has stuck to her guns and crossed the floor in favour of scrapping a ban on the contentious Adler shotgun.
Ms McKenzie and her Nationals colleague John Williams voted in favour of a motion introduced by Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm which would have allowed the importation of the seven-round Adler shotgun in a late-night senate sitting on Monday.
The motion was voted down with the support of the majority of government senators, Labor and The Greens, but it highlighted the ideological divide over the gun within the Coalition.
Senator Leyonhjelm, who is a strong guns rights advocate, said he introduced the motion as a commitment to Australia’s gun-owning citizens.
‘‘The 800000 firearm owners in Australia will not take this lying down,’’ Senator Leyonhjelm said.
‘‘Indeed, I am making it my business to ensure that they all know what is being done to them.
‘‘For the government, there are a lot of votes to be lost and not one to be gained on this issue.’’
Senator McKenzie, who had previously expressed her opposition to the Adler ban, said she had not heard of lever action shotguns like the Adler ‘‘being used in crime since the late 1800s’’.
‘‘This debate is just full of so many mistruths as people conflate the tragedies of Port Arthur and Lindt Cafe,’’ Senator McKenzie said.
‘‘There is a lack of understanding in our media, for instance, around how guns are used and why, and how our current National Firearms Agreement actually works.’’
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie said allowing the Adler into Australia would be a ‘‘terrorist’s wet dream’’.
‘‘If they really want to know what Tasmanians think, I can assure you, they should go and visit Port Arthur,’’ Senator Lambie said.
The importation of the seven-round Adler shotgun was banned by Justice Minister Michael Keenan last year.
The ban was meant to be a temporary measure until the state governments reached an agreement on how to classify the Adler under the National Firearms Agreement.