While we all share the common goal of enhancing community safety, I firmly believe that the Bill, as currently drafted, constitutes an unjustified attack on law-abiding firearm ownership. It appears to be driven more by political concerns than by evidence-based policy making. Rather than targeting responsible firearm owners, I believe that our efforts should be focused on increasing penalties for firearm theft, being in possession of stolen firearms, and the like. The introduction of tougher sentencing for such crimes would undoubtedly be a step in the right direction rather than demonizing licensed firearm holders as this Bill does in its current state. 

Furthermore, the classification of suppressors as prohibited items is another aspect that raises concerns among responsible firearms users. Suppressors, when used responsibly, can contribute to noise reduction, acting as a mechanical control to protect hearing, particularly for those who engage in recreational shooting or pest control. Another aspect of allowing suppressors for use by recreational shooters is the creation of a new industry within Australia as the importation of suppressors is prohibited - the Commonwealth Attorney General's website states, "Where a civilian has been issued with a suppressor permit by the firearms registry in their jurisdiction, these permits only allow for locally manufactured suppressors to be purchased." 

The extract from the Bill mentions various measures, such as refusing firearms licenses for members of outlaw motorcycle gangs and prohibiting the manufacture of firearms parts or ammunition through modern technologies like 3D printing. While some of these measures may have merits, it is essential to ensure that these actions do not unjustly infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens. 

I believe it’s time we put an end to these Hollywood ideas of suppressors being silencers - it just doesn’t work that way - and start being practical in regard to engaging with the firearms community, especially the growing sports-shooters community as they are surrounded by constant high decibel impacts. 

I kindly request your support in scrutinizing and amending the Firearms Amendment (Community Safety) Bill 2023 to strike a fair balance between public safety and the rights of responsible firearm owners. Together, we can work towards a safer Tasmania while respecting the rights of those who abide by the law. 

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your support in ensuring a just and balanced approach to firearm regulation. 

For more information please contact: 

Phillip Bigg 

SFF Secretary 

Email: [email protected]