1988 Gun lobby march

In 1988, Victorian Labor Premier John Cain put up a proposal for stronger gun laws following the random Hoddle and Queen Street shootings in Melbourne, Victoria, when 15 people were gunned down and killed and 24 wounded.

The shooters were furious about the new gun laws and the Sporting Shooters Association stated in the media that gun owners were not violent people. They organised a protest march through Melbourne which was attended by approximately 20,000 shooters. To highlight the gun owners’ aggression, Levy and twelve members of Animal Lib. decided to confront the shooters head-on.

As the shooters were marching up Swanston Street towards Burke Street and then on to Parliament House, Levy’s group, and an ABC camera crew, were waiting in Little Collins St with wreaths and a coffin representing
the victims who had been shot. As the 20,000 shooters came towards Little Collins Street, Levy and his team moved into the front of the protest with the coffin, surprising the shooters and also the police, who thought it would start a riot.

The police confiscated the coffin and tried to separate Levy’s group from the marchers, but as the shooters marched past they chanted ‘kill them, kill them’.

The story in The Times on Sunday ran the headline ‘Kill them, yell marching gun advocates’.

The tactic had worked by bringing out the shooters’ aggression and anger.

Mounted police separate Levy from the shooters