Shooters Union Australia has had a first glance look and a number of things jump out. We didn’t compare to the previous NFA because we didn’t think there was much point since this one is the one that needs to be addressed and the previous one is irrelevant now in any case.
Whatever this one says, we can be sure that WLB will want enforce to the nth degree.
First general comment is that this document refers ONLY to legitimate firearm owners and users. It creates severe restrictions on the activities of already over-legislated individuals and groups.
- 5 (d) Severe restrictions on the importation of handgun parts
- 6 Pump action shotguns are banned except for specific licence classes and completely unavailable to shotgun shooters unless they belong to the ACTA (this will upset SSAA and Field & Game I think)
- 13 (a) Clubs used as genuine reason for licensees must participate in shooting sports recognised in the charters of Commonwealth and Olympic Games or World Championships – THIS IS VERY RESTRICTIVE. Need to look up the charters (if, in fact, they exist).
- 13 (b) ACTA and affiliated clubs again, no other shotgun clubs – will cause problems for Field and Game and SSAA.
- 16. No handgun licences AT ALL for primary producers.
- 18. No pump action shotguns for the security industry.
- Categories of firearms are as we expected, except that pump action shotguns (as well as lever action shotguns) have been moved to category C.
- 30. Talks about national information-sharing hub – ? national register or just an integration of existing systems??
- 34 (d) Maximum term for a licence is 5 years.
- 34 (f) Details of proposed storage to be provided at time of licensing (? licence application or licence acquisition ?) AND are to be inspected by licensing authorities (I don’t think they have the manpower to do that but quite apart from that, you don’t have to have a firearm to get a licence, so why should you have to be inspected when you don’t even have a gun?)
- 35 (i) Safety training must be standardised across Australia for all licence categories – probably means will be transferred to TAFE facilities for provision of courses.
- 36 (iii) Clubs required to confirm handgun applicant’s storage and specify which competition the handgun is for – BIG imposition on clubs and makes them liable I think.
- 36 (iv) Clubs are required to collect information on the handguns a prospective member has. Not sure how they are supposed to monitor new purchases after the member has his licence…..
- 36 (v) Back to club requirements for annual returns, including each member’s individual firearms – again, big imposition on club volunteers.
- 36 (b) i Applicants required to get a police check before joining a club (not necessarily a bad thing because that takes the responsibility for club membership off the clubs and puts it back onto police). No doubt a fee will apply and this may well discourage new members.
- 36 (c) After 12 months membership, confirmation of storage AGAIN.
- 37 (a) Collectors must have storage inspection.
- 37 (a) iii Looks like collectors will no longer be able to have an occasional shoot with their collection firearms.
- 37 (a) vi4 I have no idea how a person can display a commitment as a student of arms ……
- 38 (a) i Theft of a firearm will result in cancellation of a licence and confiscation of firearms. So will failure to notify a change of address!!!!
- 38 (a) iii This is VERY open – who decides physical fitness? Could be a temporary illness
- 38 (c) iv 1 Requires clubs to report to police if they have concerns that a person may pose a danger if in possession of a handgun (means the club may be held liable if they do not report and the person causes problems).
- c8 (c) iv 2 Requires clubs to report expulsions and the reasons therefore. I’ve seen SSAA expel members because of very minor personality clashes ……
- 40 (c) A licensee moving interstate has only 7 days to apply for a licence in the new home state for Cat C, D or H. This is ridiculous and virtually impossible considering he has to join a new club and there will be club delays in approving an application to join the club, not to mention the requirement for a police check ……
- 43. PTA waiting period at least 28 days – no ability to issue earlier in the case of a second or subsequent application.
- 44 (a) Must have storage before applying for a new licence or renewing one. Many shooters borrow or hire (club) firearms rather than own their own. If you don’t have a firearm, why do you need storage?
- 44 (f) Firearms safety booklet distributed to all new licence applicants PRIOR to attending a course – big problem for safety course provision, even it if ends up being TAFE delivered.
- 45. Greater storage requirements where multiple (does this mean more than 1?) firearms are kept on the same property.
- 47 Requirement for inspection and audit of storage
- 45 Security storage spelled out in detail – don’t know what the position is now …….
- 51. A requirement for at least one annual inspection of storage used in the security industry.
- 53 (d) Dealers to be inspected without notice.
- 54. Sale of ammunition only for those firearms for which the purchaser is licensed (not the category). How does a dealer know what firearms a purchaser has?
- 57 (d) The commercial transport of ammunition with firearms is prohibited – will increase freight costs for dealers.
The above items are by no means the result of a full investigative review, and as such justifies the need for proper consultation with the industry.[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]Written by Jan Linsley, Shooters Union Australia. A downloadable copy of this document is available here.[/box]