SSAA Victoria and its key industry partners are hearing worrying reports out of Canberra about the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) review.
It is now apparent that State Police agencies will present recommendations for the NFA at a meeting of the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (LCCSC), likely to be held next month.
Recommendations from the jurisdictions have been shrouded in secrecy and neither industry nor recreational organisations have been consulted, which appears to be a deliberate ploy by police and public servants.
What is known, is that discussions regarding classification of lever-action shotguns, magazine capacity and storage will likely be included in recommendations to the review.
There is every possibility that changes to the NFA could lead to compulsory confiscation of some firearms.
It cannot be overstated what may happen here.
The firearms industry has united to call on all licensed firearm owners, their friends and families to write to their state Police Ministers. The letter should request the recommendations they will be putting forward to the review. It is also important to copy this correspondence to your local State and Federal parliamentary members or, better still, meet your local members face-to-face.
This is the biggest threat to licensed firearm owners since the 1996 gun confiscation.
Experience shows that decisions which are made without full and open consultation with firearm owners and industry, and which are not based on sound verifiable evidence, invariably impact negatively on us.
Click here to read the latest article form our political body the Combined Firearms Council of Victoria. It details some of the potential changes in detail and their impacts.
It is critical that we make our concerns known.
SSAA Victoria cannot overstate the importance of being polite and respectful in these letters. The purpose of these letters is to ask for genuine consultation, not to attack people or score points.
See below a suggested letter developed by the CFCV on behalf of the shooting industry.
Dear (name of your MPs etc)
I understand the Police Ministers will meet in October to consider proposals relating to the National Firearms Agreement, in particular the categorisation of some firearms, storage requirements and magazine capacity.
These proposals have been developed under a shroud of secrecy to avoid consultation with the shooting community. This is divisive and can only lead to bad policy outcomes.
Good policy outcomes come through proper consultation processes which support a ‘no surprises’ approach. However, State and Commonwealth public servants and the police have been developing policy proposals ‘under the radar’ which demonstrates bad faith on their part.
Policy development without consultation leads to significant errors. Earlier this year the Tasmania Police published guidelines (without consultation) which inadvertently advocated a ban on the Olympic target sports. They later withdrew their guidelines. Last year the Victoria Police issued guidelines (without consultation) on the transportation of firearms which misinterpreted the Firearms Act. These required significant correction, to their embarrassment.
Behaviour like this is inexcusable and helps no one. It certainly does not help make your job, or that of our relevant ministers, easier.
As a constituent directly affected by the National Firearms Agreement, I would like to suggest that the full suite of proposed changes to the NFA be referred to State and Commonwealth firearms consultative committees for proper and open consultation with the shooting community.
I believe the Police Ministers should consider implementing a new and permanent model of policy development which takes facts and data into account, and supports the ‘no surprises’ approach.
I look forward to hearing from you.
|The Hon Michael Keenan MP||Minister for Justice||Michael.Keenan.MP@aph.gov.au||PO Box 6022 House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600|
|The Hon George Brandis QC||Attorney Generalfirstname.lastname@example.org||PO Box 6100 Senate, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600|
|To find your local MP search||Australian Parliament Website|
|The Hon Lisa Neville MP||Minister for Policeemail@example.com||Level 17, 8 Nicholson St, East Melbourne, Vic, 3002|
Click here to see a complete list of the country’s Police Ministers and their contact details.