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Shooters Union Ministerial email generator now active

With licence application/renewal and PTA processing times blowing out spectacularly in some places (notably Queensland), and firearms licensing branches in other states being increasingly hard to contact or opaque in their responses, we have found that escalating issues to the state Police Minister can be an effective way of getting a resolution.

We are pleased to now roll out our Ministerial Email Generator nation-wide. It allows you to compose an email to your State/Territory police minister – and you can find it here!

Please complete the form as if you were writing the letter to the minister yourself (especially the comments field) as this will be mail merged into the ministerial template for your convenience.

Once you have completed the form, you will receive an email with the templated Ministerial, please proofread and make any amendments necessary.  Then send your email to:

We’d love a copy for our records, so please CC legal@shootersunion.com.au too!

Northern Territory Reverses A22R Reclassification

In a huge win for shooters, the NT News is reporting the Northern Territory Police Service has apparently agreed to reverse its recategorisation of the Savage A22R and Verney-Carron Speedline rifles.

Late last year, the Acting NT Police Commissioner used his powers under the Territory’s Firearms Act to declare the guns were Category C and D respectively, effectively banning them.

We spearheaded the effort to fight this, alongside our friends at SIFA, the NT Field & Game Association and SSAA NT, and we are delighted to say the NT Police have indicated they will likely be reversing the decision and returning the guns to Categories A and B where they belong.

According to the story, a Northern Territory Police spokeswoman said “NT Police are repealing the declaration with a view to engaging in more consultation with all parties involved; to make a considered and informed decision on the classification of these types of firearms”.

This is an incredible result and a significant win for shooters not just in the NT, but all across Australia.

It’s also one of the few times since 1996 that a significant restriction on shooters has been successfully fought and overturned and sends a strong message to politicians and the anti-gun mob that we’ve had enough of being used for political points scoring and being treated like potential criminals.

This outcome has been made possible by the strength and support of our members as well – so if you know someone who isn’t a Shooters Union member (maybe it’s you?), why not encourage them to join so we can keep fighting for the rights of #allshooters?

Follow this link and get involved! https://shootersunion.com.au/join-shooters-union/

Writing Guide for NT Reclassification

As you may have heard, earlier this month the then-Acting NT Police Commissioner Michael Murphy unilaterally declared that “all linear repeating firearms with assisted ejection, chambered for rim fire ammunition, to be category C firearms” and “all linear repeating firearms with assisted ejection, chambered for centrefire ammunition, to be category D firearms,” under section 8(1) of the Firearms Act 1997.

In practical terms, this means the Savage A22R .22 lever-release rifle is now treated the same as a Ruger 10/22 or any other semi-auto .22 and essentially unavailable to most shooters, while the Verney-Carron Speedline lever-release rifle is now treated the same as an AR-15 or L1A1 SLR and effectively banned.

Both these guns are Category A and B literally everywhere else in Australia.

We wrote to the NT Acting Police Minister and the NT Justice Minister a fortnight ago demanding an explanation and none has been forthcoming.

We are writing to all Shooters Union members in the Northern Territory to ask for your help in making sure this matter isn’t swept under the rug and that law-abiding shooters in the Territory get their voices heard in the fight against unfair and unjust gun laws.

Please, contact your local MP as soon as you can and let them know the following key points:

  • You are angry about the arbitrary re-categorisation and how it has been carried out
  • You want the decision reversed
  • You want the Firearms Act amended to remove the Police Commissioner’s ability to recategorise firearms into a higher category
  • Failure to take a pro-gun stance on this (and any other relevant) matter WILL cost them your vote and the vote of all other law-abiding firearms users in their electorate at the next Territory election

Make no mistake, this recategorisation is just the tip of the iceberg and is being closely watched by the other States.

We all need to stand up and take action now to fight for a fair go for all shooters.

Even if you don’t own, or have no intention of owning, a lever-release rifle, if this isn’t stopped then it’s only a matter of time before the antis decide to start coming after pump and lever-action rifles, then “high power sniper rifles” (any centrefire with a telescopic sight), and even potentially PCP air guns (for being more or less silent).

Contacting your MP will only take a few minutes but will make an enormous difference and is one of the most effective ways to get our message to the people in charge.

If you’ve got any questions or would like more information on how you can help, please don’t hesitate to contact media@shootersunion.com.au

Yours in shooting,

The Shooters Union Australia team

Shooters Appalled by Secret Gun Reclassification

**MEDIA RELEASE**

Giving the Northern Territory Police Commissioner the power to unilaterally reclassify sporting firearms on a whim is literally the stuff of a police state, says one of the country’s leading pro-shooting organisations.

Then-Acting Police Commissioner Michael Murphy declared in the NT Government Gazette earlier this month that “linear repeating firearms with assisted ejection” were reclassified from categories A and B (available to all licensed shooters) to categories C and D (heavily restricted and essentially banned, in the latter case).

Shooters Union Australia slammed the recategorisation, which was carried out without consultation or reference and caught shooters and their representative organisations alike off- guard.

President Graham Park said the first anyone heard of the recategorisation was when a Territorian shooter received a letter in the mail a few weeks ago advising him that his Savage A22R .22 rifle had been reclassified into a more restricted category as a result of a declaration by Acting Commissioner Murphy, and he would effectively have to dispose of the rifle as a result.

“We wrote to Acting Commissioner Murphy and Justice Minister Nicole Manison more than a fortnight ago requesting an explanation of this unilateral recategorisation and nothing has been forthcoming,” Mr Park said.

“It’s the sort of thing you expect to hear about happening in the Soviet Union or East Germany during the Cold War, not the Northern Territory in 2019.

“Needless to say, we and our members are not at all happy and want the declaration nullified immediately.”

Mr Park said while he was of the understanding the declaration referred to lever-release firearms, the wording was unclear and the potential was there for deliberate misuse or over-reach.

“No-one in the Australian shooting community had ever heard of the term “linear repeating firearm with assisted ejection” before and it is so vague as to potentially encompass most manually operated repeating firearms,” he said.

“And that’s without getting into the fact these lever-release guns pose no public safety risk, are Category A and B in literally every other jurisdiction in Australia, and have never been used in a crime.”

Mr Park said the situation was extremely concerning and had very serious implications for all Territorians – even those who were not firearms users.

“The police being able to decide laws on their own is a clear breach of the fundamental principle of the separation of powers,” he said.

He called on the NT Government to intervene and reverse the recategorisation, and then amend the Firearms Act to remove the police commissioner’s powers to reclassify firearms into higher categories.

“Who knows what other legislation there is on the books that lets the police make their own rules without oversight?”

“This is a dangerous precedent with far-reaching consequences, and it needs to be fixed immediately.”

CONTACT DETAILS:
President Graham Park: president@shootersunion.com.au or 0418 700 320
Media Officer Royce Wilson: media@shootersunion.com.au or 0410 645 035

Response to NT Acting Commission of Police

Acting Commissioner of Police Michael Murphy
Northern Territory Police
Via E-mail November 11, 2019

Dear Mr Murphy,
I am writing to you as president of Shooters Union Australia on behalf of our members to seek clarification of a declaration you made on October 3, 2019 and Gazetted on November 6.

In your Declaration, you declare that “declare all linear repeating firearms with assisted ejection, chambered for rim fire ammunition, to be category C firearms” and “all linear repeating firearms with assisted ejection, chambered for centrefire ammunition, to be category D firearms”, under section 8(1) of the Firearms Act 1997.

As Australia’s pre-eminent organisation representing law-abiding firearms users, we are extremely concerned by this arbitrary reclassification and request clarification on the
following matters:

  1. What, exactly, is a “linear repeating firearm with assisted ejection”?
  2. Why have these firearms been reclassified?
  3. How are these guns any different from a public safety perspective than pump action or lever-action rifles?
  4. What public safety risk do you believe these “linear repeating firearms with assisted ejection” pose, given they are Category A or B in literally every other State and Territory in Australia and have never been used in a crime?
  5. Were stakeholders, including licensed shooters, shooting organisations and dealers, consulted before this decision was made? If not, why not?
  6. How many of these “linear repeating firearms with assisted ejection” are registered in the NT?
  7. What is the precise amount of compensation payable to licensed owners of these guns who have suddenly had them recategorised and are unable to continue to own them as a result?

We appreciate your assistance in helping us and our members understand the rationale behind this decision, given its serious implications and the seemingly opaque manner in which has been arrived at.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Park
President, Shooters Union Australia