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Australian Shooters Denied of the Bushmeister BA-X12?

Posted By Shooters Union of Australia  
18/12/2021
09:18 AM

AUSTRALIAN shooters are being denied access to new firearms technology at an affordable price, as a patent infringement claim on lever-release shotguns has resulted in all major importers cancelling their orders of the BA-X12 “Bushmeister” shotgun.

Within a day of the announcement of the customs regulations being amended to allow the import of lever-release shotguns, and the accompanying announcement from Nioa they were importing an affordable design using the tech, another entity made it known through industry sources that the Bushmeister design infringed on patents held by another manufacturer.

As a result, Nioa have cancelled orders for several thousand of the BA-X12 shotguns, and have stated the project is on hold indefinitely as they simply don’t know when the design issues can be rectified.

In a statement provided to Shooters Union, the Firearms Dealers Association of Queensland – who were strongly involved alongside SIFA, Nioa and Shooters Union in getting the guns cleared for import – said they were not impressed by the sudden turn of events.

“It’s a shame this new technology that’s just been federally approved with the help of importers like Nioa and groups like SU is now being blocked from import by potential patent issues.

“To the best of our knowledge, the entity involved was not substantially involved in the fight for recategorising these guns, and at no point flagged a potential patent issue with us or our import partners until after the approval.

“As you can imagine with multiple importers being able to bring this technology to Australia, the designs using it were going to retail for less than $1000 per gun. Limiting the number of importers will only mean a significantly more expensive product available here, disadvantaging shooters as a result.”

The FDAQ also said they had been advised by other importers planning to bring in similar designs that they had cancelled those orders as well.

We at Shooters Union are disgusted that years of hard work at Commonwealth level appears to have been undone in a day by parties that were – to the best of our knowledge – not involved in securing the import changes necessary to bring straight-pull shotguns to the Australian market.

The changes allowing lever-release shotguns to be imported represented the first real acknowledgement by the Commonwealth Government that Australian shooters did not have to
be restricted to firearms technology from the 1930s or earlier, so having that rug pulled out from under us by members of the firearms industry itself hurts even more.

We understand it could take literally years to sort out the design/patent issues around the lever-release system in the BA-X12 shotguns (and similar designs from other factories) and the only real winners from it will likely be the lawyers.

We’ll keep you updated as the saga progresses, but for now: Don’t go trading in your lever-action or straight-pull shotguns just yet.

To clarify: We have zero financial interest in which brands of shotgun are available or who is importing them.

We're just extremely disappointed at the industry's apparent inability to come together to celebrate a real success for the shooting community, and at the end of the day the average shooter is the one who loses.