Victorian senator Ricky Muir became the whipping boy for Senate reform after he was elected to federal parliament in 2013, representing the Motoring Enthusiasts Party, with less than 1% of the vote.
As an ordinary Australian thrust into the spotlight of Canberra politics, Muir has risen to the occasion as a thoughtful and competent legislator.
There are also issues where Muir has lobbied for a constituency, including recreational shooters, especially when it comes to the Turkish-made Adler A110 shotgun.
Former PM Tony Abbott banned the 7-shot, lever-action, 12-gauge shotgun just as it was about to being imported to Australia last year, with Victorian police concerned about its firing rate, with some describing it as a sem-automatic weapon.
Nearly 7000 people had lined up to buy one, according to The Weekly Times, before the government intervened last year, halting it sale until the ban was lifted just before Abbott was deposed as PM.
One thing Muir has learnt during two years in Parliament is when to see a political opportunity.
Yesterday, Ricky Muir was among the independent senators described as “turkeys voting for Christmas” when he sided with Labor to block the government legislation that led to Malcolm Turnbull all but confirming today that a double dissolution election is coming on July 2.
Today, Muir took to Youtube in defence of the Adler A110. It’s a smart political strategy for a politician who needs around 7% of the vote to be re-elected.
Sporting shooters have been a political force in both NSW, where the party has two upper house MPs and have wrung a number of concessions from the state government during negotiations over critical legislation, and Victoria, which also has two MPs.
There are around 800,000 recreational firearm owners in Australia.
While the party stands regularly for the Australian senate, it has failed to achieve enough popular support for election, so Muir’s attempt to harness some of those votes as their representative in Canberra is a clever move and he knows it, ending his defence of the shotgun, below, by saying “this election, please remember there are other political parties, outside the major political parties… remember there are people out there who are just like you and support your lifestyle.”
— Senator Ricky Muir (@Ricky_Muir) April 19, 2016