The website for Gun Rights Australia, the fake firearm advocacy group used to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA) and their secret meetings with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, pushed for the loosening of Australian firearm laws.
“Australians need to regain their right to protect… the country we hold so dear,” the website said.
Now, a landmark exposé from Al Jazeera shows Gun Rights Australia ‘founder’ Rodger Muller did want to protect Australia – just not in the way the NRA or One Nation expected. In fact, Rodger Muller, the gun lobbyist, never existed at all.
Archived copies of the Gun Rights Australia website reveal the tactics used by undercover journalist Muller and Al Jazeera over their three-year-long operation to infiltrate America’s powerful gun lobby, and record One Nation’s attempts to secure millions of dollars in funding to loosen Australian gun laws.
The website provided an incredibly realistic front for Gun Rights Australia, complete with a fake backstory for Muller.
The site’s ‘About Me’ section said the 2014 Sydney siege convinced Muller to push for amendments to Australia’s National Firearms Agreement, the sweeping gun law reforms enacted after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre.
“It is time for us to finally break the shackles, step up and stand for our rights as responsible citizens to defend ourselves,” the site said.
Those comments stand in contrast with the statement made by the real Muller after Al Jazeera’s landmark report.
“I am genuinely proud of Australia’s gun control laws, and to rail against “snowflakes” and “gun grabbers” seemed like a betrayal of my friends and family back home, who I believe are safe because of such tough laws,” Muller wrote for the outlet.
Other wings of the site reveal how Muller and Al Jazeera used other media outlets to make Gun Rights Australia a believable operation.
The ‘Press’ section featured an interview with Kentucky-based TV station WHAS 11, showing an in-character Muller advocate for a loosening of firearm regulations. It also hosted a link to Muller’s interview with NRA TV, which now appears to be deleted from their site.
Images posted on the site show Muller attending firearms events and standing outside the NRA’s headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia – where Muller surreptitiously filmed One Nation chief of staff James Ashby and Queensland leader Steve Dickson as they learned how the NRA’s PR department goes on the offensive after mass shootings.
Speaking to The Australian after the exposé aired, Ashby said One Nation “strongly supports the rights of lawful gun ownership within Australia and have clearly outlined our policy on our website.”
Tellingly, that policy position mirrors some of the language used on the Gun Rights Australia website – which was created explicitly to uncover how gun lobbyists work to keep deadly weapons in the hands of the public.
You can access an archived version of the site here.