Since 2005, the Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group (FWPWG) – consisting of bureaucrats from government departments and police services in all jurisdictions – has been pushing for more restrictions on legal firearms ownership in Australia. Particular attention has been given to shifting pump action rifles and lever action firearms into Categories C or D, and introducing far more severe limits on magazine capacity, as well as making it easier for bureaucrats to prohibit firearms they simply do not like the appearance of. Plans to ‘reclassify’ various firearms have been actively underway since at least February 2014, long before the Adler shotgun issue arose.
Then, along came the Martin Place Siege, involving an unlicensed offender with a lengthy criminal past and an illegally obtained firearm of a type prohibited in 1996. The report into that incident is now being used to justify a sweeping review of the “technical elements” of the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) with particular attention to “new technology”.
The firearm-related recommendations in that report focus on using advancements in technology to better facilitate the administration of firearms, such as sharing of firearms transaction data between jurisdictions. The report does not call for a review of technology in any other context and to suggest it does is simply misleading. The “technical elements” the report identifies relate specifically to genuine reasons for Category D licenses, and license duration.
The report does NOT call for a review of how firearms are categorised in the National Firearms Agreement. It is an outright lie to say that the report calls for any further restrictions on lawful gun ownership. What we are now seeing is the FWPWG using a convenient excuse to push their long-standing agenda, which is to implement massive further restrictions on legal firearms ownership in Australia.
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Shooters Union Australia is a not for profit organisation which represents thousands of firearms owners and users across Australia. We are actively involved in the political scene, lobbying against the unfair, unreasonable and unconstitutional vilification of firearms owners at every level of government. Our aim is to work towards a co-operative system of effective gun control, and together we are affecting positive change on firearm legislation in Australia. Help us to change the social dialogue around firearms, firearms ownership and the shooters themselves.
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