I have just read the firearms Industry submission on ‘Simplifying the regulation of the firearms market through an update of the technical elements of the National Firearms Agreement’ (for a link to the full submisson click HERE).
I must say that organisations involved have all done a fantastic job, not just for the sensible and measured submissions contained in it, but also for standing together, which marks a momentous step in firearms lobbying in Australia, for now we have the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia, National Firearm Dealers Association, Australian Deer Association, Sporting Shooters Association, Field and Game Australia and the Historical Arms Association of Victoria all standing as one.
The combined power and influence of these groups will not be missed by regulators, for now we are starting to see something that could be called a ‘gun lobby’ and it is hitting hard with sensible submissions.
It seeks to remind decision makers to resist the ‘temptation to base decisions and policy related to firearms and firearms ownership on instinct, intuition, prejudice and ideology rather than facts and data’.
The submission recommends:
- Following the Canadian path of abandoning gun registration for conventional long arms used by recreational shooters and hunters, as this registration was an example of ‘red tape without any added value’ (Blaney p10)
- Upgraded IT systems for all states and territories with full on line management of licence applications and renewals by each state and territory
- Licensed firearms dealers (‘LFD’s’) to report firearms transactions in an automated and instant method.
- Changes to IT to reduce duplication as this increases the opportunity for human error.
- Provision for on line import applications and state business activity applications for exemptions or permits to conduct trade fairs.
- Consistency of identifiers that would allow instant sharing of information through the interface
- Once a firearm is authorized to be possessed for one purpose it should be lawful to use it for any other lawful purpose
- Firearms renewal applications should not be treated as a new application where details have not changed.
- Attendance requirements and calibre restrictions for Cat H should be removed.
- Abandon registration of pre-1900 handguns.
- The linking of firearms of licensed shooters with terrorism and community safety must be proved and facts and data relied upon to draw these links revealed.
It also comments that ‘decisions related to firearms ownership and usage are as likely to be based on instincts, intuition, speculation or prejudice as they are to be based upon facts and data’.
Some of you will be saying ‘but where does the report mention the Adler and lever action shotguns. It doesn’t, specifically. This is covered by the submission related to linking licensed shooters with terrorism and public safety and a call to see evidence.
I have heard a number of shooters in on-line chats comment that nothing much will come of the review, and we need not bother too much about fighting changes.
Frankly, this is both daft and dangerous. If all of us do not do whatever we can, you can rest assured that the bureaucratic gnomes driving the review and their political masters will perceive this as weakness, and impose further restrictions upon us.
This blog is prepared as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem it is important that you get advice that particularly addresses the issues in your matter.
Simon Munslow is a solicitor who practices Firearms Law in all Australian Jurisdictions. He is a life long hunter, and has over thirty years experience as a legal practitioner. His passion and knowledge of firearms is often what achieves an excellent result for the shooter.
He can be contacted on: P: (02) 6299 9690 F: (02) 6299 9836 e: firstname.lastname@example.org