200,000 Recreational Hunters Locked-Out by New NFA
The new National Firearms Agreement was quietly released last month. Changes flagged in it could lock out 230,000 recreational hunters in New South Wales.
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Robert Borsak today declared that he and his Upper House colleague Robert Brown will fight ratification of changes to the National Firearms Agreement that make law-abiding shooters worse off.
The changes, if ratified in New South Wales, would affect the 230,000 licenced shooters with a firearms licence under the ‘recreational hunting / vermin control’ genuine reason.
“These changes are ridiculous and penalise licenced, law-abiding firearms owners so that Government can pretend to be tough on gun crime, and the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party will fight them,” Mr Borsak said.
“Section 15 of the new National Firearms Agreement says that ‘recreational hunters/shooters must produce proof of permission from a landowner’ when applying for a firearms licence with the ‘recreational hunting / vermin control’ genuine reason.
“Currently, permission has to be sought before a licenced firearms owner seeks access to private land for hunting. Producing a firearms licence shows the landowner that they have (1) been deemed a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a firearms licence, and (2) have undergone firearms safety training.
“New South Wales regulations already protect landowners by banning hunting on private land without the owner’s permission. This change is solely designed to prevent people obtaining firearms licences.
“230,000 licenced, law-abiding firearms owners in New South Wales could be affected by this change which penalises those doing the right thing. The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party will fight this change being ratified here," he said.
Mr Borsak hit back at Police Minister Troy Grant for pretending to support firearms owners last year.
“Before the Orange by-election NSW Police Minister Troy Grant was coming out strong against tightening firearms laws, but as soon as the election was over he just got back in his box and did whatever the Liberal Party wanted him to do in COAG negotiations. He was just trying to win votes.
"I call on the Police Minister to clarify his position on this change and the new NFA."
The new National Firearms Agreement was quietly released in February 2017 and it now falls on each State Government to ratify changes in their own jurisdiction, as has been the case since 1996. The Federal Government has no constitutional authority over firearms matters in Australia other than customs.