Victorian licensed firearms owners would now be aware of the recent threat by Victoria Police Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) to ‘reprimand, suspend or cancel’ licences of registered firearm owners who ‘blatantly and deliberately breach’ the current directives of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer (CHO). SSAA Victoria considers this threat to be an overreach of powers granted to LRD.
Be aware, it is no idle threat. SSAA Victoria is aware of LRD’s
No other segment of society is facing additional punitive measures for breaching current COVID-19 restrictions. Yet again it would appear that legally licensed firearms owners are being singled out and being treated unfairly.
SSAA Victoria questions the legal principle of LRD’s threat and its implications for natural justice in Victoria. Why are the same standards and demands not made of Victorians in other sports or recreational pursuits?
If any SSAA Victoria members have been threatened with losing their firearms licence as a result of breaching COVID-19 restrictions, the Association would encourage you to contact State Office. The Association is ready, willing and able to fight unjust treatment of shooters.
While SSAA Victoria supports the directives issued by the CHO and the measures implemented to keep Victorians safe during this time, the Association believes the statement issued by LRD to be ill-considered. We also believe that LRD is acting beyond its authority and power in taking such actions.
Only the SSAA Victoria has the standing and resources to challenge LRD all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. To do so, we must work with the right instance of Police acting beyond their powers and in a way not contemplated by the Firearms Act 1996. Any challenge we undertake must be convincing to the court.