The NSW farmer, who used his unloaded rifle as a prop when confronted with an armed home invader, has his firearm licence and three guns back.
David Dunstan, who lives 30 minutes from the nearest town in Bungowannah, grabbed his .22 rifle from his safe when a man armed with a knife and wood entered the home where his wife and children slept at 3am on September 14.
NSW Police seized David’s firearms and licence and, over the ensuing six weeks, his story went national, with many commentators bewildered by what happened.
Throughout the ordeal, David stood by what he did. He pointed out that “it’s far easier to lose my guns than to lose my kids”.
The Combined Firearms Council of Victoria (CFCV), of which SSAA Victoria is the largest contributor, has been supporting David and his wife through the ordeal.
It set up a GoFundMe page to assist in the legal fight, and the community donated $20,150 to the cause. One incredibly generous anonymous donor provided $500 for the cause.
CFCV Secretary Neil Jenkins said most of the funds were spent providing direct legal support to David and his wife. “We engaged Stephen Mainstone from Mainstone Lawyers in Cronulla, who had expertise in the NSW firearms system,” he said.
“Stephen worked with NSW Police to ensure David was not charged, and to hurry them up in making their decision on returning his licence to him.”
On Wednesday, October 25, his efforts paid off. David received a letter from NSW Police, informing him that he could collect his firearms and licence. The letter stated, “It is important that you understand that the legislation prohibits you from possessing or using firearms for the purpose of personal protection”.
David said he was “amazed by the support” he received during the ordeal. “So many people are concerned about what rights they have got and self-defence,” he said.
Not only did the community donate thousands of dollars to the fight, but CFCV’s original Facebook post promoting the fundraising campaign was shared more than 1600 times and seen by nearly 275,000 people.
Any leftover funds, with David’s agreement, will be spent on similar fights.