#Law & Order

We are petitioning you to express our dissatisfaction, at the way that your government is regulating firearms, knives, and access to public lands for hunting.

We give notice that if our treatment at the hands of your government does not change, we will vote against the government of the day at the next election. This policy should, if necessary, over successive elections, shatter any bi-partisan approach adopted by both major parties in respect to these issues, by overturning sitting members in marginal seats.

It is sad that in a democracy, we have to adopt this approach, but the firearms laws that were imposed after Port Arthur, were a rushed, ill considered, overly prescriptive, a knee jerk reaction.

The laws have not worked. See peer reviewed research on this point quoted below.

Mouzos (2003)
Baker & McPhedran (2006)
Mouzos (2009)
WS Lee & S Suardi, ‘The Australian Firearms Buyback & its effect upon gun deaths’ Melbourne Institute Working Series Working Paper no 17/08

The restrictive nature of tests for a Firearms licence, with its public safety requirements (which we do not seek to change from that agreed between the Police Ministers), has created a situation where, only people who comply with the law have legal access to firearms, yet considerable resources are expended on regulating us, while the unlicensed firearm market, which comprises largely of illegally imported firearms, remains, like the drug market, in essence, deregulated.

You should be aware of the considerable waste of public funds being spent on over policing us as a group, which is neither efficient nor effective. While figures on this expenditure are not publically available, they have been assessed by sources as between $405 million and $1.5 billion between 1996 and the present day.

For the avoidance of all doubt, we are not seeing to defend a position that would see violent people get access to firearms. These changes are a legislatively sustainable starting point for reform. We are happy to work with any government genuinely committed to delivering these ends, and reassess our demands if they can be fairly demonstrated to be unreasonable.

Full text see Simon Munslow on Facebook

Our demands are as follows:

1. Statements to the media and public by politicians and senior bureaucrats should not treat firearms and hunting in a misleading and deceptive way.

2. Abolish gun registration & PTA’s. Almost all firearms used to commit serious crime in Australia are unregistered, with offenders being unlicensed.

A more practical approach, is to apply the NZ model, abandon registration of semi automatic firearms and handguns, this will regulate higher risk firearms. Avoiding mass data entry issues and the collection of material of no criminal intelligence value.

3. Abolish Cooling off periods. Cooling off periods in the legislation are unnecessary. As there is enough time delay inherent in the system to discourage ‘at the height of passion’ events.

4. Simplify storage laws to enable firearms and ammunition to be stored in the same cabinet, though with the firearm not loaded, and BOTH under lock and key.

5. Merge Category A & B. The distinction between ‘genuine reason’ and ‘special need’ is meaningless in the Australian context.

6. Low powered rimfire semi automatic firearms. Allow low powered semi automatic firearms to be owned under a category A licence.

7. Merge the reasons for ownership, so that satisfaction of one reason, allows a person to use a firearm for any other lawful use.

8. Semi automatic and pump action firearms. As the main concern with semiautomatic firearms, is magazine capacity, in conjunction with speed of fire, permit semi cannot accept, or have been modified, so as not to be able to accept, a high capacity magazines.

10. Allow licensed shooters to possess and use crossbows and sound moderators. Current restrictions, arise from reactions to isolated incidents and Hollywood movies adorning both with impossible performance characteristics.

Sound moderators are easy to fabricate illegally and information is on line.

The use of sound moderators reduces hearing damage to the shooter, and disturbance to neighbours. They are legal in the UK and NZ without adverse consequences.

Crossbows have not been taken seriously as a weapon since Henry V beat the French at Agincourt. They have a legitimate sporting use, and are legal in most overseas jurisdictions.

11. Introduce a velocity test in respect to the definition of firearm, (i.e. 1,000 fps). This would avoid school physics experiments, breaking the law and would, cease the classification of paintball guns as prohibited weapons (a legislative accident) and low power air rifles as firearms.

12. Empower a Judicial officer (Magistrate or Judge), dealing with a charge that may effect an individual’s firearms licence, to deal with any resultant firearms issues, reducing paperwork and costly appeals to the Firearms Registry and Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

13. Change the 10 year bar on ownership after a conviction or AVO to 5 years, Bringing NSW inline with the Police Ministers Agreement. Any operational concerns could still be addressed by denying a licence to someone who applied after five years had elapsed.

14. Allow farmers and vets access to handguns in circumstances of demonstrated need. In many areas of the state, long arms cannot be reasonably or safely carried on farm bikes or Quad bikes.

Allowing farmer’s access to handguns, in appropriate circumstances, would help reduce suffering to stock.

15. Permit security licence holders to use firearms for protection of person and not just property.

16. Abolish laws regulating ammunition sales. They are represent tokenism at best and are unworkable.

17. Permit hunting on public lands. This activity is benign. Feral game tends not to occupy the same country as bush walkers, who produce noise that scares off for example deer or pig. Their activities inject valuable money into local communities.

18. Knife law change. Remove multi tools, Swiss Army Knives, pen knives and knives with a blade length of under three inches from laws restricting the carriage of knives. Britain has a three-inch blade limitation in its laws, and does not experience any resultant difficulty.

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The Reform Firearm, Knife And Game Laws petition to NSW & FEDERAL GOVERNMENT was written by Simon Munslow and is in the category Law & Order at GoPetition.