We have seen an e-mail, purportedly from the Officer In Charge of the Northern Territory Police Firearms Policy and Recording Unit, in which they discuss a proposal to establish ammunition possession limits in the Territory.

The author expresses concern at media coverage over the ammunition limits issue and notes “We are being asked the question as to why we haven’t put limits in place” (they do not specify who is asking the question or why their thoughts on the subject matter).

The author says they are not “involved in these industries or shoots” (which is extremely concerning – why is someone with no connection to the shooting pursuits/industry in charge of firearms policy and registration at the NT Police?) but proposes the following limits on the quantity of ammunition a shooter in the NT should be able to possess:

  • A & B Shooter – 1000 rounds per calibre of firearm owned
  • Sports Shooter – 10,000 rounds per calibre of firearm owned (the e-mail’s author asks “is that excessive, how much would one reasonably need for a competition shoot?”)
  • Primary Production – 5,000 rounds per calibre of firearm owned
  • Animal Control – 5,000 rounds per calibre of firearm owned
  • Business or Employment – 500 rounds per calibre of firearm owned
  • Occupational Requirement – 500 rounds per calibre of firearm owned
  • Instructors – 10,000 rounds per calibre of firearm owned
  • Dealers – No limit
  • Ammunition retailers – No limit
  • Ammunition Collectors – No limit

The author says they do not want to propose anything that becomes too restrictive for people with a genuine need for large amounts of ammunition based on their licence type.

“However, any limit set could be increased with a letter from the holder outlining their genuine need for more. I believe we, as a group, should be able to nut out what would be a reasonable amount of ammunition to be possessed,” the e-mail says.

“Nothing I have written above is set in stone by any means, nor is that list exhaustive. I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on how this could be best achieved and what you think would be a reasonable limit.”

You know what we think would be a reasonable limit? Whatever the shooter can afford to buy. And you know how we think that could be best achieved? By NT Police immediately shelving this thought bubble and never bringing it up again.

It is absolutely disgusting that, given the serious crime issues in the NT – which have been in the media far more recently than the ‘ammo limits’ thing – officers there are devoting duty hours to finding ways to add new restrictions to licensed, law-abiding community members instead of addressing actual problems caused by criminals.

We remind the NT Police – and indeed every other state and territory police force – that the National Firearms Agreement is NOT legislation, it is NOT legally binding, and the penalties for ignoring it are: absolutely nothing.


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