Muller spends most of the first 4 minutes of this video falsely setting out his role with the fictional Gun Rights Australia lobby group and detailing the political and legislative changes he claims to be lobbying for.
At about 4 minutes in he's asked, "Now are you running for office, did I hear that you're actually a candidate?"
"Yeah, we've got an election coming up in about 6 weeks and I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring to be a Senator".
The video was published on 1 June 2016 and was recorded at the NRA 2016 annual meeting which took place over 19-22 May 2016.
Writs for the Australian federal election were issued on Monday 16 May 2016. The issue of writs triggers the provisions of the electoral act making it an offence to publish false or misleading electoral material.
I think Muller's conduct is unlikely to have triggered the fairly high threshold in the Electoral Act:
Subsection 329(1) of the Electoral Act makes it an offence to print, publish or distribute, or cause, permit or authorise to be printed, published or distributed, any matter or thing that is likely to mislead or deceive an elector in relation to the casting of a vote. Section 329 applies not only to printed matter but also to electoral advertisements broadcast on radio, television, the internet or by telephone.
The Act requires that the misleading or deceptive communication directly influences the way a person votes, but that said, it's not a good look for the Al Jazeera operation that its bogus gun lobbyist also claimed to be a Senate candidate. Al Jazeera was prepared to hoodwink not just the NRA and One Nation, but all of us.
Here's the NRA's blurb published with its video:
Rodger Muller is the founder and president of Gun Rights Australia. At the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings, he talks about the need to reform Australia’s strict gun control laws. After the Port Arthur massacre twenty years ago, Australian Prime Minister John Howard took the lead in creating the National Firearms Programme Implementation Act. A forced buyback program was accompanied by new gun control laws that severely restricted ownership of firearms, Muller says that there is a need for a rational debate in the country. They are using social media and talking to everyone possible, to educate them about the benefits of lawful gun ownership. Originally aired on Cam & Co 06/01/16.
And in a separate interview with Dan Zimmerman of the NRA, Muller set out his very specific "legislative objectives":
Muller has to concentrate on the heavy lifting needed to regain the ability of his fellow Australians to carry a gun. In addition to the Sisyphean task of accomplishing the cultural change needed to make gun ownership socially acceptable in polite society again, he has three legislative goals:
- make self defense a valid reason for owning a gun (it’s not now)
- legalize concealed carry (currently verboten)
- tightening (and enforcing) laws on the illegal weapons trade
That last one, because the typical Australian legislator (never mind citizen) conflates crimes committed with illegally owned firearms with legal civilian gun ownership.