- Commissioner of Police & W.A. Paliament
Petition to remove crossbow legislation in Western Australia
Recently the W.A. police commissioner "Mr Rob Johnson" has introduced legislation prohibiting the crossbow. Without consulting any of the relevant crossbow groups here, he has put into place a law that inhibits every crossbow shooter in W.A. It is prejudiced against all crossbow shooters. These include people who shoot target competition, shooters from the disabled community, and people who previously used the crossbow for vermin control.
This is a typical example of the over legislation we are experiencing in W.A, which is turning us into a true nanny state. This law was put into place by the police commissioner, not by parliament. It was a knee jerk reaction to the unfortunate incident, which involved the death of Mr Christopher Halstead in Karratha. This is the only crime of this type we have ever heard of in W.A.
Through the media, the police commissioner said he would prohibit crossbows but still allow Arbalists (crossbow shooters) to continue their sport if they qualify for an exemption. But this was far from the truth, as it directly affects the rights of target shooters to join a local archery club of their choice. His legislation leaves no provision for allowing interstate competitors to come and participate in the World crossbow shooting association (WCSA) competitions in W.A. either.
The commissioner’s legislation says that no-one in Western Australia is allowed to apply for an exemption to have a crossbow for any reason after the 1-Jul-2011. This move alone will guarantee the death of our sport. This is nothing but a blatant attempt to wipe out crossbow archery in all its forms.
The police commissioner said in his media statement that he consulted the relevant groups about this legislation, who had no objection to the law. "The truth" is that this law was implemented without any consultation from groups relevant to the crossbow in W.A.
There are 3 relevant groups to crossbow in W.A. All three groups deny any communication took place with the minister regarding the introduction of this law, and are concerned about the effects of this poorly written legislation.
Previous crossbow owners can no longer legally own a crossbow and were told to destroy it or hand it in to the police. This is not because they have done anything illegal or have a criminal record. It's solely because they don't have access to an "Archery Australia" affiliated club in their area, therefore they could not apply to the police exemption without "AA membership". The minister would not allow membership with any other archery association or club!
Currently law abiding people in W.A. can own a vertical compound bow as opposed to a crossbow without club membership. If they want to join a club, they can do so with the club of their choice. They also have the right to hunt vermin on private property with permission of the land owner. What is the difference between a Crossbow and a Vertical Bow that can both shoot the same weight arrow at the same speed? How can the police commissioner differentiate between them and discriminate against the crossbow community?
We all support the government in delivering hard legislation to the offenders of crimes. But we ask them to leave the law abiding crossbow shooters free to practice their sporting activities without this over restrictive law.
If you support these these basic rights which have been recently taken away from us, please fill in this petition. It will be presented to the police commissioner Mr Rob Johnson and the W.A. government on behalf of the W.A. Crossbow community.