Gun control campaigners are calling on state governments to ban a new lever-action gun that can fire seven bullets in as many seconds.
The Turkish-made Adler A110 has some of the characteristics of a semi-automatic weapon, but is technically classified as a shotgun under national gun laws.
Samantha Lee, the chair of Gun Control Australia, said the Adler A110 should be banned because it approximates the performance of semi-automatic weapons that are illegal under national gun laws.
“The arrival of this weapon in Australia shows that the legislation hasn’t kept up with the changes in gun technology,” Ms Lee said.
“The Adler A110 has the same specifications of a pump-action shotgun, including rapid-fire capability that national gun laws were designed to stamp out.”
The former Abbott government lifted a ban on the seven-shot Adler A110 in July after striking a political deal with NSW cross-bench senator David Leyonhjelm. The ban is due to be lifted in 2016.
State premiers will meet in Canberra on Thursday to discuss whether the Abbott government’s decision should be reversed.
Representatives of gun victims say the firearm should be banned because it will undermine the effectiveness of national gun laws introduced in 1996 by the Howard government.
Martha Jabour, the executive director of the Homicide Victims Support Group, said that 2000 five-shot A110s* had already been sold in Queensland and that thousands of pre-orders for the seven shot model were waiting for the ban to be lifted.
“My question is who would want to own a weapon that can fire seven shots in seven seconds?” she said.
“Australia is now winding back the clock by allowing these types of guns to be imported – they have most of the features of semi-automatics.”
The A110 is also cheap. It retails for $795 in Queensland gun stores.
Ms Jabour said the weapon was durable, with the manufacturer stating in marketing material that it can fire 5000 rounds before the build-up of material in the chamber.
Gun control groups will stage a public protest at Wynyard Park in Sydney on Thursday morning where gun crime victims and politicians will call on state and federal governments to reintroduce the ban on the A110.
* CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story suggested that the seven-shot Adler A110 was already available in Australia. This was incorrect. Only the five-shot version is currently available.