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Vic man loses gun permits over 'beheading'

AAP logoAAP 13/12/2016 Genevieve Gannon

A prospective Victorian senator who claimed the West should fight Islam with "absolute brutality" has lost his firearms licences after he beheaded a manikin.

Christopher Shortis, who hopes to run for the senate with the Australia First Party, was stripped of the permits in April after police became concerned about videos he was posting online.

His appeal to have them restored was rejected by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Tuesday.

On 4 October 2015, Mr Shortis and others beheaded a life-size manikin which had its head replaced with a balloon full of red liquid, to symbolise blood.

Mr Shortis said this was intended as political comment concerning the potential for an increasing Muslim population in Bendigo.

In April 2015 he had published an image of a mediaeval crusader overlaid with the words: "In the classic battle between Good and Evil God's Will be Done ... We will finish! What you started! No submission to Islam."

The Seventh Day Adventist has a long history of posting videos online, including one entitled "Uncovering Islam".

In this video, he said "Islam will not be defeated by negotiation".

He went on to say: "We'll end up fighting them one way or another, but we should be doing it with absolute brutality."

Last year, Victoria Police informally contacted a fellow gun-club member and friend of Mr Shortis and advised him to suggest to Mr Shortis that he "calm things down."

Mr Shortis was stripped of his gun licences in April after the Victorian Police Chief Commissioner found he was no longer a fit and proper person to hold them.

In August, the Firearms Appeals Committee found Mr Shortis' licences - which were issued for sport and target shooting - should be restored to him.

Victoria Police asked VCAT to review that decision.

Mr Shortis told VCAT he is a law-abiding citizen who has held firearms licences for years without incident.

He said he had taken down the videos when concerns were raised.

VCAT senior member Ian Proctor upheld the police chief commissioner's decision.

"Reasonable members of the community may also lose confidence in the firearms licensing regime if a person with Mr Shortis' extreme views is able to retain firearms licences," he said in his decision.

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