To most politicians, we have uniform gun laws – but we’re going to
show them why even this most basic of beliefs isn’t true …. 

Everything is uniform, according to our politicians

WE’RE surveying every MP in Australia on just how much they know about the National Firearms Agreement, and why it doesn’t work.

That’s because politicians seem to be of the view that we have uniform gun laws, and that everything is working well under them.

However every shooter knows there are problems in the NFA and inconsistencies between the states that they are ignoring.

These inconsistencies are the cause of some of our arguments on gun laws and are creating some the problems we are seeing.

For example, suppliers that sell a particular firearm in one state, may not be able to sell that gun in another. 

Also, the NFA even prevents anyone from under 18 from taking up the sport in the first place – despite the fact the federal government supports junior shooters who compete internationally.

Ignoring these inconsistencies is allowing the states and territories to ‘do their own thing’ which is fragmenting any notion of there being a uniform approach.

We’re seeing this happen with the laws in Western Australia, Victoria with new safe requirements, and the Northern Territory which has made it harder for shooters to use appeal rights. 

No, our laws are not uniform. 

A simple test

The emails, which are going out to all politicians this week, tests their knowledge of this by posing five statements to which we seek their ‘true or false’ responses.

When they then see our explanation below the questions, they’ll hopefully have a better understanding why we get frustrated whenever ‘uniform gun laws’ are mentioned – because they aren’t all that uniform.

Obviously there are deeper concerns about the NFA, such as whether the firearm categories are right and registration, and even deeper problems with how our politicians relate to us.

However the idea is to take a good first step by exposing why our politicians’ most basic belief that we have uniform gun laws, is flawed.

What we put to them

The questions we ask are on:

Licence types and firearm categories: The first statement is that the NFA provides for licence types and firearm categories.  True or false?   Yes, that statement is true – but it’s the only that is.

Category certainty: The second is that the categories provide certainty for suppliers so they know what they can legally sell.  We say that’s ‘false’, because appearance laws are muddying the water.

Mutual recognition: The third statement is that all jurisdictions provide mutual recognition of licences. False, because WA does not recognise interstate licences.

Permits-to-acquire: The fourth is that all jurisdictions issue permits-to-acquire when you want to buy a firearm.  Again, false, because WA does not do this.  Instead WA ‘licences’ firearms which is both very expensive, and requires yearly renewal. They can also revoke the licences.

Juniors: The last statement is that the NFA supports the ability of juniors, such as those who go onto the Olympics and Commonwealth games, to be licenced to safely use firearms under supervision.  That’s false, because the NFA only talks about licences from the age of 18, not below it.  Fortunately juniors CAN get licences or exemptions in the states & territories, but that is not what the NFA says. We also make the point to the reader that this has nothing to do with ownership of firearms: it only relates to the use of firearms under supervision.

Scratching the surface

WE KNOW there are many other problems with the way politicians treat us. 

In fact there are so many, it’s hard to know where to begin … but we wanted to draw to the attention of our politicians that their idea that we have uniform laws simply isn’t true.

We’ll let you know what comes back.

What do we think?

If we were to have uniform gun laws, then they will only work if we get to have a say in them.  Things like appearance laws and other restrictions that affect licenced shooters need to go – plus we need all states and territories to be serious about providing decent, affordable appeal rights. 

Junior licences need to be mandated – and WA told to abandon it’s recklessness and ‘toe the line’!

We’re going to stay on the backs of our politicians for as long as it takes to get better results for shooters.

Got a good story tip for us? 
Click here to let us know


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SIGN UP to get our regular email updates.

You'll also get direct access to our podcasts to stay up to date while driving the car, on the way to work, or when you're tinkering in the shed!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x