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Western Australia Police Minister dismisses Shooters’ concerns over new laws

Western Australia is set to criminalise the possession of firearms schematics/diagrams for guns the person does not have registered to their licence, and also make it illegal for shooters to perform any repairs on their guns, including changing stocks or installing drop-in trigger assemblies.

A small number of Opposition MPs, notably North-West Central MP Vincent Catania, objected to provisions of the Bill, to which the WA Police Minister, Paul Papalia, stated that anyone who stood against the legislation was “standing with terrorists, outlaw motorcycle gangs and family and domestic [violence] perpetrators”.

Given this attitude from the WA Government, it’s pretty clear little can be done to improve things for shooters in WA until the next election.

Despite that, we have written to Mr Catania to thank him for his efforts standing up on behalf of the 81,000 licensed shooters in Western Australia, even in the face of an ignorant government which has already decided it hates shooters and doesn’t care how badly they will be affected by these laws – which, in their currently written form, also appear to make it illegal for WA shooters to reload their own ammunition too.

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!

Western Australia’s Reloading Ban Bill on Shadow Police Minister Radar

Our vocal opposition to the WA Firearms Amendment Bill 2021, which will (among other things) effectively make it illegal for shooters in Western Australia to reload their own ammunition, repair their own guns, or own manuals or schematics for guns has attracted the attention of WA’s Shadow Police Minister, the Hon. Peter Collier MLC.

Shooters Union’s WA representative, Peter Heggie, has provided Mr Collier with a copy of our myriad of concerns over the bill as well as a briefing on its implications. He is reportedly taking the matter seriously and we anticipate further discussions on the issue soon.

WA introduces legislation which could criminalise reloading

Once again the Western Australian Government has put its boot into its law abiding firearm owners by coming up with the Firearms Amendment Bill 2021 to parliament, which in its current form could be interpreted to ban reloading ammunition, the possession of reloading presses and dies, and the possession of firearms reference manuals without a special dispensation from the state Police Commissioner.

Our WA branch has a meeting with the Shadow Police Minister next month to discuss our many, many concerns over the Bill but we need the help of our WA members in contacting their MP to voice their concerns over the Bill.
You can find your local MP’s details here: https://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/memblist.nsf/screenLCMembersElectorate

In particular, the sections shooters need to be concerned about are Section 43, 23AG & AH, which define “Firearms Technology” as:

“(a) a thing that is programmed, configured or otherwise enabled to carry out a step in the manufacture or repair of a firearm, major firearm part, prohibited firearm accessory or ammunition; or without limiting subparagraph (i), to change an object into a component of a firearm, major firearm part, prohibited firearm accessory or ammunition;

(b) any type of digital or electronic reproduction of  a technical drawing of the design of a firearm,  major firearm part, prohibited firearm accessory or ammunition;

(c) a plan, drawing, instruction, template or computer program, in digital or electronic form,  for the manufacture or repair of a firearm, major firearm part, prohibited firearm accessory or ammunition;

(d) a hard copy of a digital or electronic thing referred to in paragraph (b) or (c) And then goes on to state “A person who is in possession of firearms technology commits a crime unless the person is authorised by a licence under this Act to be in possession of firearms technology.  Penalty for this subsection: imprisonment for 10 years.”

A regular Firearms Licence does not appear to authorise a shooter to be in possession of “Firearms Technology”, and the definition of “Firearms Technology” is so broad as to, in our view, encompass reloading presses, reloading dies, bullet moulds, loading manuals, load data, cartridge schematics, and detailed firearm repair manuals.

Shooters Union appoints WA Representative

We’ve had a number of shooters in WA get in touch to ask for our advice or input on issues, and in response we’re pleased to announce our SA president Peter Heggie is now also officially our WA representative.

Peter runs The Gunnery in SA and has extensive dealings with customers and the firearms branch in WA as a result, is well placed to help our members and supporters in WA while we consider longer-term options.

He can be reached via e-mail to WA@shootersunion.com.au

Letter to WA Police Commissioner Dawson regarding closure of gun shops

Christopher Dawson
WA Police Commissioner
Via E-mail

March 27, 2020

Commissioner Dawson,

I write regarding the “Closure of Gun Shops” direction issued by you today (March 27, 2020).

To be frank, Commissioner, it is appalling and quite literally the sort of thing we would have expected in East Germany during the Cold War, not a state of Australia in 2020.

How does closing legitimate business which can only be patronised by people with a firearms licence (not an easy thing to get, especially in WA) “ensure public safety during the state of emergency”?

What specific threat are you protecting the public from?

The economic costs from this are potentially incalculable. Every single one of those gun shops had employees with bills to pay, rent or mortgage obligations to meet, and family members relying on them.

Simply put: Why are you destroying an industry and inflicting so much stress and hardship on the most law-abiding sector (licensed firearm owners) in the community?

I urge you to revoke the Closure Of Gun Shops direction with the greatest possible haste.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Park

President, Shooters Union Australia

E: president@shootersunion.com.au | Ph: 0418 700 320