NFA Changes Could Place Commonwealth Games at Risk
Changes flagged by the new National Firearms Agreement could affect elite pistol shooting athletes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Gladys Berejikliak's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Sydney.
Yet New South Wales Police Minister Troy Grant remains silent on what he will rule-in and rule-out.
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Robert Borsak repeated his call for Police Minister Troy Grant to publicly rule-in or rule-out any changes to New South Wales legislation from the new National Firearms Agreement (NFA) that were quietly released online last month.
So far Mr Grant has been silent.
Mr Borsak’s latest call comes after it was revealed that one section removes “participation in… such major sporting events as the Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games or World Championships” from the genuine reason to own and possess a pistol.
“Gladys Berejiklian wants Sydney to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, after Durban was stripped for the right to host it, but this could backfire on the Premier,” Mr Borsak said.
“We will be the laughing stock of the sporting community if elite competition pistol shooters from around the world are arrested when they step off the plane at Sydney airport because the Government has not considered the impact of changes to the law.
“Legal protections for competition pistol shooters in Olympic and Commonwealth Games events have been removed from the latest National Firearms Agreement. I fear that every State Government – including New South Wales – will blindly follow suit when it comes to ratifying these changes in their own laws.
“Section 14 (a) of the new NFA no longer defines participation in Olympic and Commonwealth Games events as an ‘approved club’ – the prerequisite for legally owning and possessing a pistol for sporting shooting. This protection remains for longarms but has been omitted for pistols.
“Police Minister Troy Grant must publicly rule-in or rule-out this, and other, changes in the NFA to give firearms owners certainty and to ensure that world class competitions can continue.
“Mr Grant needs to stop pandering to The Greens and Gun Control Australia and stand up for shooting sports.
“Governments keep using firearms law changes as a way to boost popularity, but they don’t think of the flow-on consequences and only restrict the activities of licenced, law-abiding citizens, not criminals with illegal guns.”
Comparing the 1996 and 2017 National Firearms Agreement
1996 National Firearms Agreement, page 3.
The 1996 National Firearms Agreement grouped sporting shooters with handguns and longarms under the same heading and where club membership as a sporting shooter was sufficient to allow people to use or own a firearm for sporting purposes, in the case of elite athletes, their participation in events such “as the Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, or World Championships” would suffice for this test.
1996 National Firearms Agreement, page 4.
For some reason, in the 2017 National Firearms Agreement splits up the regulation of handguns and longarms for sporting purposes into separate categories.
The 2017 NFA document keeps the clause allowing participation in events such as "the Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, or World Championships” to satisfy the club membership requirement for longarms, but for some reason this was omitted when it came to handguns.