Shooters and Fishers Party MP Jeff Bourman met with the Victorian Premier this month to discuss the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) technical review.
Mr Bourman told Daniel Andrews he was concerned that the review would make recommendations to further restrict law-abiding firearm owners, rather than address the NFA’s shortcomings and objectives.
The Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group (FWPWG) has been conducting the review for more than a year. Firearm owners have largely been excluded from consultation, while emotional rhetoric from anti-gun groups has been given undue consideration.
“Our viewpoint is that there should be no changes to the NFA or the gun laws in Victoria,” Mr Bourman said. “The law-abiding have given enough and the focus needs to be on dealing with the criminals.
“This process has been frustrated by the lack of transparency and consultation offered by Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan and the FWPWG.”
Following the review of the NFA, Commonwealth and state governments may make legislative changes concerning the ownership and use of firearms.
“The secrecy surrounding this review process is cause for concern,” Mr Bourman said. “The agreement currently has among the strictest gun control measures in the world and begs the question: Why do the Commonwealth or state governments need greater control measures?”
Mr Bourman said stricter controls on law-abiding firearm owners would not address the core issues of illegal importation and manufacturing of firearms.
He called on the Victorian Government to be transparent in its consideration of any proposed changes to the NFA.
Meanwhile, SSAA Victoria continues to encourage its members to write to the Victorian Police Minister calling for transparency around the NFA review.
The Association believes the review will be largely complete by the end of the month, when the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (LCCSC) discusses the topic at its meeting.
We believe at this stage the only outstanding issue is the re-classification of lever-action shotguns with a capacity greater than five rounds. We also understand there will be no re-classification of any other firearms and the existing classifications are likely to remain the same.
While the above may not directly concern lawful firearm owners who do not use shotguns, SSAA Victoria encourages all members to write to Police Minister Lisa Neville voicing their concerns and encouraging her to make evidence-based decisions rather than those based on emotive rhetoric or political ideology.
Her contact details are:
The Hon Lisa Neville MP Minister for Police
Level 17, 8 Nicholson St
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Following the LCCSC meeting, the group’s recommendations will likely be discussed at COAG next month.