Former Prime Minister John Howard has labelled the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party “dangerous” ahead of the Cootamundra and Murray by-elections due to their stance on gun laws.
In an open letter on Thurday, Mr Howard and former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer called on voters to “think carefully about your vote” during Saturday’s by-election.
“It has been brought to our attention that the Shooters Party may be a serious contender in the seat of Cootamundra at the By-election this Saturday,” Mr Howard wrote.
“The Shooters first priority is to fundamentally weaken our existing firearms laws, introduced by the Howard-Fischer government after the Port Arthur tragedy.
“We can’t take a risk on a Party with such dangerous policies.”
A spokesperson for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers said the National Party have “wheeled out their Liberal Party mate to try and save them”.
“The National Party received some interesting polling on Tuesday night,” the spokesperson said.
"The main issues here are forced amalgamation of Police Local Area Commands, schools funding, hospitals, roads funding, and the spectre of forced Council mergers.
"Nobody's even speaking about firearms, except the Nationals."
Mr Howard and Mr Fischer famously introduced the Nationals Firearms Agreement, which involved a ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons following the Port Arthur Massacre where 35 people were killed.
There have been no mass shootings in Australia since the ban.
“In light of recent world events it is clear that these laws have worked well for our country,” Mr Howard wrote.
“Those with legitimate purposes can still access the firearms they need, including farmers and sporting shooters.
“In other words – we got the balance right.”
Talk-back radio host Ray Hadley joined the chorus yesterday stating on his morning program that he could not support the Shooters in Cootamundra due to the party’s stance on gun laws.