Nationals WA & Sporting Shooters call on Labor to extend firearms legislation
The Nationals WA and the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia WA have today launched a petition calling for the consultation period for the Labor Government’s proposed new firearm reforms to be extended.
Member for the Agricultural Region Colin de Grussa MLC said the rapid consultation window – which would close in less than a month – failed to provide an opportunity for feedback from WA’s 90,000 registered firearm owners.
“The firearm reform paper released last week is a complex, 62-page document which proposes significant changes to all aspects of the licensing and regulatory regime,” Mr de Grussa said.
“This includes an Australian-first cap on the number of firearms for licensed owners, a major overhaul of the property letter system, and the application of health and mental health
requirements which have the potential to impact thousands of licensed firearm owners.
“This is the most extensive change to WA’s firearm reforms in 50 years, yet firearm owners are being given less than a month to make a submission regarding these detailed and complicated changes.”
Mr de Grussa said with many farmers already getting underway with harvest operations, the 14 November cut-off for feedback was simply not long enough.
“There’s consultation designed to tick a box and then there is genuine consultation – I urge the Labor Government not to make the same mistakes they made with the shambolic Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act by rushing this process.”
Mr de Grussa said many elements of the reforms were likely to be supported by The Nationals WA and firearm owners, however, more time was needed to allow the community to understand the proposed changes and raise concerns.
“In the interests of ensuring genuine consultation with firearm owners, recreational and sporting shooters, primary producers, firearm dealers, and collectors, we are calling on the State
Government extend their consultation deadline beyond 14 November.”
“We are not going to see this legislation before the New Year, so there is absolutely no need to rush the consultation process”, Mr de Grussa said.
Sporting Shooters of Australia WA President Paul Fitzgerald said the firearms community was keen to participate in the feedback process.
“If the Labor Government wants to have the support of licensed and law-abiding firearms owners in this process, it’s essential they extend the consultation timeframe to give us a chance to have our say,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“This major overhaul of WA’s gun laws has so far been done with very little consultation or discussion with the sector, and the least Labor can do is allow adequate time for us to provide our feedback.”
The petition will be open until 24 November 2023 and can be signed online at www.nationalswa.com/firearmspetition