Always carry a firearm, always …


Bruce in West Oz
October 12, 2004, 05:02 AM
Gran wrestles croc
John Wright

A BRISBANE grandmother, 60, was being hailed a hero last night after taking on a 4m, 300kg crocodile to save a friend and his family during a horrific attack in far north Queensland.

Alicia Sorohan, of Chandler, was beach-camping with family and friends at remote Bathurst Bay, 250km north of Cooktown, when a saltwater crocodile invaded their campsite at 4am yesterday.

Alerted by screams, Mrs Sorohan and her husband Bill rushed to a nearby tent to find a member of their party, Andrew Kerr, of Tingalpa, in the jaws of a crocodile and being dragged towards the sea.

Mr Kerr's wife, Diane, said she was in her tent with him and their three-month-old son Kelly when she was awoken by a noise outside.

"I heard a thud and I got up and looked through the netting on the tent door," Mrs Kerr said.

"I saw this croc right there looking at us. I said 'there's a croc, Andrew'. He sat up and the croc just lunged at him. The croc was attacking and he was screaming saying 'get the baby, get the baby'.

"The croc had him by the legs and was dragging him out of the tent. I picked up the bassinet and I had hold of it with one hand and I had Andrew's hand with the other and the croc just ended up dragging us all outside the tent.

"I was just screaming 'Andrew, Andrew, Andrew'."

When Mrs Sorohan saw Mr Kerr in the jaws of the crocodile she jumped on its head. The animal turned on her, grabbing her by the arm. Mrs Sorohan's son Jason then shot the croc in the head.

The horrified onlookers included Mrs Sorohan's two granddaughters, Kaitlyn, 6, and Rhiannan, 3, and their parents Wayne and Melinda Clancy, of Greenbank, Brisbane.

The family, still in shock at the site late yesterday, said Mrs Sorohan's bravery had been astonishing.

"She deserves an award of some kind," Mr Clancy said. "The croc just came up out of the water straight to Andrew's tent. It just crashed straight through the tent and grabbed him.

"We heard screams, jumped up and ran over. We couldn't see a thing at first because it was black. Then we saw the croc. It had ripped into Andrew pretty badly and had hold of Alicia by the arm.

"Fortunately, there was a gun handy and that was the end of it.

"Jason (Alicia's son) shot the croc in the back of the head."

The two victims, suffering serious multiple wounds, were evacuated from the site by road and helicopter after their radio distress calls were picked up by quarantine service officers working in the area.

The party of three Brisbane families had been on an annual four-wheel-drive fishing/camping holiday to far north Queensland.

They knew the area around Bathurst Bay well having camped there every year for the past five years.

The beach where they were camping is adjacent to Cape Melville National Park and is a popular campsite for four-wheel-drive and fishing enthusiasts in the dry season.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife rangers who attended the scene late yesterday said there had been no history previous crocodile attacks on humans in the area.

The male crocodile involved in yesterday's attack was estimated to be about 50 years old.

Mrs Kerr and her young son last night were evacuated from the site by helicopter to Cooktown.

The other family members in the group had packed up by sunset and they were heading away from the area towards Cooktown.,1658,387425,00.jpg,5936,11046297%255E952,00.html

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October 12, 2004, 07:50 AM
there was a gun handy and that was the end of it
And that is all I have to say about that.


October 12, 2004, 08:02 AM
Hiyah Mate! A good ending to that story. Good thing that they thought to bring the pistol along.

October 12, 2004, 08:04 AM
Puts a whole new meaning to the Dingo took my baby

October 12, 2004, 08:48 AM
Next - Jason goes to jail for having a gun, killing an endangered species, etc, etc.

Parker Dean
October 12, 2004, 11:15 AM
Next - Jason goes to jail for having a gun, killing an endangered species, etc, etc.

It would be interesting to know if there is a subsequent legal action like that. Since I doubt we can count on the press to report that or not, Anybody got any contacts in the area?

Brian Dale
October 12, 2004, 11:20 AM
Thanks, Bruce. Good piece.

October 12, 2004, 12:22 PM
Hahaha, that story is about 10x better when the quoted parts are read out loud in an Australian accent with "CRICKEY!" thrown in every now and then.

October 12, 2004, 12:45 PM
Hahaha, that story is about 10x better when the quoted parts are read out loud in an Australian accent with "CRICKEY!" thrown in every now and then.

I understand that just before the attack Steve Irwin was poking it with a sharp stick...

"Crikey!, you're a grumpy buggaahh, ahhn't you?":D

Andrew Rothman
October 12, 2004, 02:33 PM
Was it legal for the guy to have a gun while camping? Anyone?

October 12, 2004, 02:49 PM
Didn't Austrailia only outlaw handguns like England? Or did they take everything? The article didn't say what kind of gun he had.

October 12, 2004, 02:53 PM
I too would be interested to know if there is any subsequent legal action taken against the person who shot the croc.

For any of our Aussie members, under what circumstances can one legally carry a firearm?

Standing Wolf
October 12, 2004, 04:54 PM
I don't leave home without shoes, socks, trousers, a shirt, my wallet, and a gun.

October 12, 2004, 05:09 PM
I don't leave home without shoes, socks, trousers, a shirt, my wallet, and a gun. The first five are negotiable, the gun is NOT!

And open carry is legal in NM. (although it applied to pistols and not "guns"):what: :evil: :neener:

October 12, 2004, 07:55 PM
That's why I dont go camping...anywhere. :what:

October 12, 2004, 09:11 PM
For camping and hunting it is ok to have a rifle if you are licensed

Handguns are very tightly regulated and the laws vary from state to state

Crocs are a protected animal so he could possibly face charges

But I would hope that logic prevails and he gets to keep the hide at least

Because the has been a ban on shooting crocs for a long time now their numbers have increased to the point of them being out of control

Thankfully being from Victoria we don't have crocs

Steve Irwin is just about the only Aussie that says crikey


Bruce in West Oz
October 12, 2004, 09:16 PM
Was it legal what Jason did?

Let's see:

• Strictly speaking, he was not allowed to have a firearm in a national park. Authorities have said they will not charge him, given the gravity of the situation.

• The croc is protected -- but Jason won't be charged on the same basis as above.

• There was no mention of whether he had the firearm "stored securely" as required by law. From the speed with which he retrieved it, I would guess not. It depends on the coppers as to whether he'll be charged or not. I doubt it, but it is possible. Depends how loudly the antis and animal libbers bleat.

• Different states have different rules about carrying firearms in vehicles. Friends of mine wanted to carry a .22 on a round-Australia trip, but would have had to have had a steel cabinet welded inside their vehicle to carry it in. :rolleyes:

• I doubt very much that it was a handgun. That is simply verboten. He'd be in all sorts of strife if he'd been carrying a handgun. We have no idea what sort of firearm it was, but it took (reportedly) six shots at zero range in the back of the head to stop the croc. Wouldn't be at all surprised to find it was only a .22 rimfire or WRF magnum, because they're relatively easy to get a licence for.

• You can't, strictly speaking, carry a firearm for self-defence in Australia -- that's not even a valid reason for owning a firearm any more. However, you can use a firearm in self-defence; the difference is crucial.

• Firearms are NOT prohibited in Australia (well, not yet, anyway :fire: ) -- just damned hard to legally acquire and use.

• I'll keep an eye out for any further news on this -- especially if any legal action is aimed at Jason. So far, the media are far more concerned with making a hero out of Alicia. But we'll be watching. :scrutiny:


Baba Louie
October 12, 2004, 09:25 PM
Up here we blather on about bears and caliber, handgun, long gun ad nauseum (well, it beats 9mm vs .45)
"Fortunately, there was a gun handy and that was the end of it. So tell us Bruce... whats the best gun for hungry crocs down under? (Besides the one you have handy at the moment?) Is it a question asked over and over and over? Heavy solids going slow or lighter, fast hollowpoints?

What type of gun did they have that was handy? (I assume it was a rifle) Are the politicians now working to remedy that situation by slapping them on the wrist and recommending wearing bells and using pepperspray???

Thats a big lizard lying there. (Or is it?)

October 12, 2004, 09:44 PM
Bruce in West Oz,

Where in Western Australia are you? I have family living in Perth.

Bruce in West Oz
October 12, 2004, 10:00 PM

Since crocs are (now) protected, not many of them get shot! However, "use enough gun" to quote Ruark seems to be the rule. I believe big and slow(er) gets the nod -- I know of one company that provides its employees with a .444 Marlin on a corporate licence for protection against crocs (they work on pearl farms up north).

I'm in Perth. Northern (beachside) suburbs.

October 12, 2004, 10:33 PM
Bruce in West Oz,
My cousin is a doctor in Perth. His sister (cousin to me also) and her husband have a big tomato farm somewhere in the area.

These are cousins on my fathers side, his brother migrated to Australia in the early 20's. My uncle was a tailor and owned several tailor shops in the area. After he retired his eldest son ran them until he retired.

My uncle was run over by a car while crossing the street to visit his girlfriend.:rolleyes:

If you want to know the family name we can go to PM.

October 12, 2004, 10:44 PM

October 12, 2004, 11:07 PM
Bruce, how hard is it to acquire licencing or pump/lever shotguns or pistol-caliber rifles? It seems lile those might me pretty handy, but not seen as so 'dangerous'.

Bruce in West Oz
October 13, 2004, 12:52 AM
Bruce, how hard is it to acquire licencing or pump/lever shotguns or pistol-caliber rifles? It seems lile those might me pretty handy, but not seen as so 'dangerous'.

OK, I'll (briefly) explain the system that works here in Western Australia -- other states are similar but not identical.

A pump action shotgun is a prohibited weapon; mine was crushed by the police in 1997. (In certain extenuating circumstances you can get a licence for one, but for "ordinary" people, forget it. The same applies to self-loaders.) We used to be able to buy a lever action shottie, but I think that all fell in a heap and was never very popular anyway.

Shotguns can be held on a "low power" licence -- the same as .22 rimfires and air rifles.

Centrefire rifles (all calibres, from Hornet to .444 or whatever) are held to a "higher" licensing regime, and require a waiting period.

For any firearm, you need to establish "need" and "reason" with the police.

This is itself is quite complex, as a brief look at the following will make obvious (from the WA Police website):
What does a "genuine reason" and a "genuine need" mean?

An applicant is required to demonstrate that he or she has a "genuine reason" in all applications, including additions, to acquire a firearm(s).

A "genuine need" is required in some applications.

Extract Firearms Act:

Genuine reason required in all cases:

11A(1) An approval or permit cannot be granted, and a licence cannot be issued, under this Act to a person, who in the Commissioner's opinion, has not been shown to have a genuine reason for acquiring or possessing the firearm or ammunition for which the approval, permit, or licence is sought.

(2) A person has a genuine reason for acquiring or possessing a firearm or ammunition if and only if -

(a) it is for the use by the person as a member of an approved shooting club and the person is an active and financial member of the club;

(b) it is for use by the person as a member of an organisation approved under this paragraph;

(c) it is for use in hunting or shooting of a recreational nature on land the owner of which has given permission for that hunting or shooting;

(d) it is required by the person in the course of the person's occupation;

(e) it is to form part of a genuine firearm collection or genuine ammunition collection; or

(f) it is for another approved purpose.

(3) A person does not have a genuine reason for acquiring or possessing a firearm or ammunition of a particular kind unless the Commissioner is satisfied not only as to the person's reason for acquiring or possessing a firearm or ammunition, but also that the particular kind of firearm or ammunition can be reasonably justified.

(4) The reasons described in subsection (2)(e) are not genuine reasons for acquiring or possessing a firearm or ammunition under a licence other than a Firearms Collector's Licence or an Ammunition Collector's licence.

(5) Approval cannot be given under subsection (2)(f) to the possession of a firearm or ammunition for the purpose of personal protection.

(6) Regulations made under Section 34 may limit the purposes that may be approved under subsection (2)(f).

A genuine need required in some cases:

11B (b)(1) The regulations may provide that, for prescribed categories of firearms or ammunition, an approval or permit cannot be granted, and a licence cannot be issued under this Act to a person unless the Commissioner is satisfied that the person has a genuine need to acquire or possess a firearm or ammunition of that category.

(2) the regulations may make provision as to the circumstances in which a person can or cannot be considered to have a genuine need to acquire or possess a firearm or ammunition of a particular category.

This in effect means an applicant has to satisfy Section 11A in all cases of application. The applicant would have to satisfy Section 11B in some cases, these being for high power applications, handguns, etc, showing a genuine need for the class applied for, i.e. why a lower category firearm would not suffice.
(An interesting site to visit, by the way.)

October 13, 2004, 01:00 AM
<-----------thanks God he lives in the US

Do not construe this as a bash on Australia, as I'm sure there are many fine things about that country. I prefer the US.

October 13, 2004, 10:11 AM

So are only single shot shotguns available, or are O/Us and SxSs OK as well? I'm just curious. Did the government give you some money for your pump, or did they just take it and destroy it? I don't mean to be nosy, I just want to understand the nature of the beast.

October 13, 2004, 12:52 PM
Australia is a great country full of great people, they just can't get any of them elected.

Bruce in West Oz
October 13, 2004, 08:24 PM
So are only single shot shotguns available, or are O/Us and SxSs OK as well? I'm just curious. Did the government give you some money for your pump, or did they just take it and destroy it? I don't mean to be nosy, I just want to understand the nature of the beast.
Hi, mate. We can have single barrel, O/U, SxS, bolt action or lever action shotguns. It is just P/A and semi-autos that are, for all intents and purposes, banned.

The govt instituted what it called a "buyback" -- though they never owned the firearms in the first place! :cuss: They set a price which, for ordinary firearms, was non-negotiable. I honestly don't remember what I got for the shotgun now; just over $100 I think. The sad part was that it didn't matter what value (intrinsic or monetary) the prohibited gun had, it was crushed. I saw a photo of a smiling police officer with a $10 000+ presentation-grade Browning in the crusher. :fire: Historical firearms went too -- local museums and Returned Services League (veterans' association) museums were emptied of "offending weapons". There was a mass public anti-gun hysteria. Museums were, in many cases, forced to remove even old muzzle loaders from display because bliss-ninnies felt "threatened" by the sight of them. Cadets had their drill firearms confiscated, even though they were rendered permanently inoperable, because some people didn't want children "associated with firearms"! And these were kids, many of whom wanted to go and join the armed forces! :rolleyes:

I don't think you're being nosey at all, mate -- glad to answer if I can.

October 13, 2004, 08:34 PM
I heard this story in the news this morning and they never said a word about killing the croc with a gun. They only said the woman fended off the croc by wrestling it!

Those liars! :cuss:

Bruce in West Oz
October 13, 2004, 10:33 PM

Yes, we feel that form of "lying by omission" has been deliberate -- those media outlets here in Australia who did the same thing have been emailed to have their PC views "corrected".

They have also enjoyed publishing letters along the line of the following:

Item: Site feedback
From: Anonymous
What stupid people – why camp on a beach where crocodiles roam in their natural habitat? That crocodile did not deserve to die for something it does naturally, hunt for food!



October 13, 2004, 10:49 PM
I guess the differance is the Australians are subjects and in the United States, we are citizens.........

Bruce in West Oz
October 13, 2004, 11:17 PM
Sorry, Greg, but I'm a citizen of the Commonwealth of Australia; not a subject.
Welcome to the Australian Citizenship website

Australian citizenship symbolises our unity as a nation. It represents commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It also symbolises the sense of belonging to the country where we have been born or where we have decided to make our home.

In this website you will find everything you need to know about citizenship and, in particular, the Government's invitation to all eligible permanent residents in Australia to join the Australian family by becoming citizens.
The difference boils down to one thing -- your 2nd Amendment. We have no such provision. Without it, governments were able to define firearms ownership as a privilege, and not a right.

October 13, 2004, 11:32 PM
When I was in Australia (decades ago) Australians had a frontier attitude about a lot of things, and I would have thought that firearms woud have been part of that. They all seemed to have a healthy disrespect for their government and an independent spirit. I am very surprised that 'self-defense' is not a valid reason to have a firearm.

That being said, I had an Aussie friend who went to jail for cutting down the barrel of his rifle.

Added later: you said it was easier to get a rimfire license - it this possible for foreign visitors? A .22 mag lever gun might be handy if traveling through the outback.

Bruce in West Oz
October 14, 2004, 12:14 AM
(MODS -- if this is getting too far off-topic, please feel free to shut it down or shift it; I don't mind answering the questions, though. Slow day at work. :evil: )


I think the answer to your question lies in the two words you typed -- "(decades ago)".

Yes, the Australia I grew up in during the 60s (especially) began to be killed off during the great socialist experiments by the governments of the 70s and onwards. "Political correctness" and "multiculturalism" went from being admirable concepts to twin forces to be feared as ever more zealous converts took up their call.

Bureaucracies burgeoned and each department/official/bureaucrat sought new areas of our lives to inlict his/her prejudices and biases upon. This was always accomplished by force of law -- because politicians believe they have to pass laws to justify their existence (and their pensions).

Our schools (and as an ex-teacher, I was a direct part of this) took on a more and more left-leaning bent. We no longer taught two sides to a situation -- we were required to teach a single-sided, often revisionist, curriculum that openly held in disdain the values of Australia for the past 200 years.

Those students we taught now hold positions of influence and power -- they are driving the laws to make the country the way they have always been told it should be. Their buzzwords are "community, not individuality", "compromise", "apologise", "appease", "regret", "accommodate" and anything else which reduces people to groups and groups to communities and communities to a global village.

The Aussie of legend -- the laconic, anti-authoritarian bushman of yesteryear -- is long gone. We are now one of the world's most urbanised countries. The overwhelming majority of our population lives in the major (coastal) cities and capitals. The exodus from the land -- and from our roots -- continues.

Dr Phil, Jerry Springer, Rikki and Oprah are as familiar in our homes as yours, and more familiar to our youth (and younger adults) than Banjo Patterson, Breaker Morant, Sir Donald Bradman or even Ned Kelly. Our past is being deliberately trampled.

And with that goes the everyday, commonsense regard and attitude we had towards firearms. What was essentially a tool, or an item of sports equipment or just an inanimate collection of wood and steel that rested behind the kitchen door has been replaced with an irrational image of a killing machine, able of its own volition to "go off" and kill someone. "Smiley Gets a Gun" was replaced with "CSI: Miami". Mere ownership of a gun was enough to deny people their civil rights and liberties. As someone said, "The mere fact that someone wants to own a firearm is enough reason to make sure they never get their hands on one".

Most of the people you knew are still there -- many still have the same attitudes. But they're getting older and more powerless. The stridency and sheer hate of some pressure groups in this country -- and I include parts of government in that -- cause people to shut up and, at least on the surface, comply.

But don't forget, after the government first banned certain classes of firearms in 1996, and made their possession illegal, with fines into tens of thousands of dollars and up to 14 years' prison for non-compliance, best estimates are that they only gathered about 25% of the now-illegal firearms. The other owners did what many Aussies have always done -- they shut up and totally ignored the government.

Sorry for the rant, but maybe it helps to explain things a little more.


EDITED to add: I can't imagine the police in any state would allow a visitor to have a firearm licence here, other than for competition (a specific competition) or for an organised safari, run through a recognised group -- certainly not just to "carry around" on a holiday.

For example, here's the requirements to import a firearm as a visitor into Western Australia:
F20 Overseas visitors, temporary firearm permit.

Yes, you can bring firearms into Western Australia by filling out the Form 16.

ONE Overseas visitors need to ascertain from this website or by written correspondance [sic] with Firearms Branch, 210 Adelaide Terrace, Perth WA 6004, that they can actually license the firearm(s) they wish to visit Western Australia with (eg: you will not get a submachine gun licensed in Western Australia). The applicant will also require a genuine need and a genuine reason for bring the firearm(s) into Western Australia (eg: to compete in a specific competition, to be part of an licensed hunting group).

TWO Visitors will also require, from Firearms Branch, a Customs Importation Police approval form, known as a B709, which will be issued with the temporary firearm permit. This form permits the applicant, on arrival in Australia, a means of delaration to Customs officers, as to legality of firearm ownership and permission to bring these prohibited items into Western Australia.

October 14, 2004, 12:52 AM
Ahh, well, that's about as I figured. Here's to hoping that things swing back to the middle a bit. 'Multiculturalism' and 'political correctness' have taken a beating in the US in the last 5-7 years (along with a lot of the postmodern relativism in general), so maybe common sense will win out after all. I must say, though, Brits and Aussies of late sure seem to be willing to submit to their governments in a way that surprised me.

I have often wondered whether this was a result of the parliamentary system, where a 'tyranny of the majority' could more easily establish itself, and political impulses of the moment can easily have major influences. As opposed to our system, where congressional gridlock and the fillibuster assures that very little actually gets done.

But, this may be a bit OT.

On topic - how about black powder revolvers in Australia?

Bruce in West Oz
October 14, 2004, 01:20 AM
Black powder revolvers? Yep, we can own them -- subject to the same licensing and restrictions as for any handgun, except barrel length and calibre are not prescribed as for other handguns. May only be used in competition or as part of a recognised, bona fide collection (in which case, normally, they can not be fired).

If your stomach's strong, you might like to look here:


October 14, 2004, 12:16 PM
Seeing the way he just crept up in the darkness.......

Maybe he was a ninja croc!

What's the best round for a mutant ninja zombie croc?

October 14, 2004, 03:04 PM

Bruce in West Oz

That was a very eloquently written piece. It evoked lots of images in my imagination of what can (and will) happen over here, if we're not careful. (Can anybody say "Patriot Act II?")

Would you mind if I repost that on another board I frequent?

Bruce in West Oz
October 14, 2004, 08:12 PM

Be my guest

October 14, 2004, 11:19 PM
Personally I would not like to live in a place that does not allow gun ownership. That is why I really need to leave California.:D

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