GUN LAWS BACKFIRE

Australian laws have inadvertently led to the country's resurgent gun lobby building a massive campaign war-chest -- a bounty it is tipping into electoral contests.

A Guardian report today shows that more than half a million dollars was spent by pro-gun groups at the Queensland state election in order to tip the balance towards minor, pro-gun parties including One Nation and the Katter's Australian Party. The story examines a concern long held by anti-gun advocates: that by forcing gun owners to have a genuine reason to own a gun -- for instance, being a member of a shooting club -- Australia's laws bolster shooting club membership, effectively ensuring millions of dollars in fees end up with pro-gun groups.