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One Nation sought millions from US pro-gun lobby NRA: report

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Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has been accused of asking a powerful US gun lobby for $US20 million in funding to help it roll back gun control in Australia.

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Queensland leader Steve Dickson and Senator Hanson’s chief of staff James Ashby made the request in a meeting with National Rifle Association of America officials and other pro-gun groups in the US, an undercover investigation by Al Jazeera claims.

The investigation, broadcast overnight on Monday, features a recording of a meeting in Washington, DC, in September 2018, captured by an undercover journalist.

Dickson reportedly told NRA officials that for the world to look to Australia as a model for gun control would be “poison”.

“If we don’t change things, people are going to be looking at Australia and go ‘well, it’s OK for them to go down the path of not having guns, it’s OK for them to go down that politically-correct path’,” he said according to Al Jazeera.

“And it’s like a poison – it will poison us all unless we stop it.”

Ashby is also heard saying $US20 million in donations to One Nation from US pro-gun lobbies would give the party parliamentary influence in Australia.

“If you had 20 [$US20 million], you would own the lower house and the upper house,” he says, according to the recording.

One Nation and the NRA declined to respond to Al Jazeera about its investigation and documentary. Comment from each party is being sought by AAP.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham called on the party’s national leader Hanson to front the cameras today to explain the “sickening” reports.

“She should explain whether or not she was truly seeking an amazing $20 million in foreign donations to One Nation, to her political party,” he told ABC’s Radio National.

He said the idea of rolling back Australia’s gun laws seemed “remarkable” in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre two weeks ago, in which a lone shooter killed 50 people at two mosques.

The meeting came not long before legislation cleared federal parliament in November banning foreign donations.

“This is exactly why our government introduced foreign investment donation, to ban this type of foreign influence in our political system,” deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie told ABC Radio National.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said there was not enough information available yet to confirm whether or not any laws had been broken.

Al Jazeera’s two-part documentary, entitled ‘How to sell a massacre: NRA’s playbook, revealed’, will be shown on the ABC tonight and Thursday night.

-AAP

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