A failed South Australian and federal political candidate and animal sanctuary owner has lost a bid to keep his firearms licence after a tribunal found he threatened to shoot hoon drivers in 2017.

Key points:

  • Mark Aldridge lost his firearms licence in June 2020
  • He appealed that decision to the SA Civil and Administrative Tribunal
  • The decision was upheld

Mark Aldridge — who has run in a number of state and federal elections, both as an independent and One Nation candidate — applied to the SA Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) to get his firearms licence reinstated after it was cancelled.

The Registrar of Firearms cancelled Mr Aldridge’s firearms licence in June 2020, claiming he was “not a fit and proper” person to hold one after an incident in January 2017.

After a two-day hearing, the tribunal agreed and refused to reinstate Mr Aldridge’s licence.

The tribunal found that Mr Aldridge admitted making “repeated indirect threats to use a firearm to harm others” when he made the comment: “Do you know what I’d like to do? Just go and get the f***en self-loading and f***en knock a few of the c**** off.”

Mr Aldridge told the tribunal that was he well-known in the community, and had previously been a political candidate, so people knew where he lived and that he had an animal sanctuary at his property.

He also gave evidence that he had 5,000 friends and 30,000 followers on his social media.

‘Firework sparks feud with hoon drivers’

Mr Aldridge told the tribunal that people were doing burnouts and setting off fireworks near his home in December 2016, and a cracker was found in his driveway near dry grass.

“In the early afternoon of January 1, 2017, he [Mr Aldridge] put a post on social media with a photograph of the firework he had found noting that it was near dry grass and referred to the people who had left it as ‘childish morons’,” the tribunal stated.

Mr Aldridge told the tribunal that members from the group called him and asked him to meet them at the corner, so he drove there with a friend, and approached them carrying a “night stick” — or extendable baton.

He said there had been a “brief conversation” before he returned home.


But Mr Aldridge told the tribunal that about three hours later, fireworks were set off on his property so he jumped in his car and drove towards the group to record their number plates before he was assaulted.

The tribunal stated that Mr Aldridge’s wife had contacted police but cancelled the request for help about six minutes later.

Dash cam footage from Mr Aldridge’s car was tendered to the tribunal.

It showed the former political candidate making the following comments: “I only got this as a weapon” and “I wish I had a f***en gun, I’d shoot them all.”

Tribunal hears link to outlaw bikie

It also revealed that Mr Aldridge’s friend ask him if he could “ring what’s-his-name from the [Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club]”. He replied: “Nah, too many of them.”

Mr Aldridge told the tribunal that the comments were made to his friend “in private in an attempt to sound tough” and that he had no intention of acting on them.

Mr Aldridge admitted to SACAT that he had the contact details for a member of the Gypsy Joker outlaw bikie club after meeting him at a rally to protest South Australia’s anti-association laws.

“On the evidence available to the tribunal, I consider there is a risk that the applicant may cause harm to another by the threatened use of a firearm. This reflects adversely on his fitness and propriety,” the presiding member said in his judgment.

“The events of January 1, 2017, show a pattern by Mr Aldridge of confrontational behaviour.

“I reject his evidence that his comments made to his friend and the third party were made to sound tough.

“In my view the evidence clearly shows Mr Aldridge planned to confront the Commodore group armed with weapons. He made multiple threats to harm others. He was aware the police patrol had been cancelled.”