SSAA WA discusses state licensing issues
Monday, 18 April 2011
Most of you may now be aware that due to stabilisation of the firearms database, it has been found that there appears to be well over 5000 people who are receiving letters of demand to reapply for the licence after it has expired. We have been vocal in our ongoing complaints over the database long before the Australia Post lodgement system came into place.
Whilst we applaud them for hopefully getting corrupt data straightened out, an obscure section of the act WA Firearms Act Section 9A(7) requires that you have to fully reapply after the licence has lapsed for more than 12 months. As such, you now have to rejustify everything on your licence, which is a complete and utter waste of time, considering you have held a valid licence for an extended period without issue. Reapplication will include property letters, club documents, serviceability certificates and so on, as well as then trying to get through the flawed process of lodging it at Australia Post.
These 5000 applications will waste police resources, as well as place additional strain on a system that we receive daily complaints about and will no doubt include decisions that don’t make sense, such as “You haven’t provided a good enough reason” etc.
A delegation of Shooter’s representatives today met with the Police Minister Rob Johnson MLA and stated our complete and combined anger at the latest issue surrounding law-abiding firearms owners. We also discussed the ongoing issues with Australia Post lodgments and the proposed EPA noise regulations. Also raised was the treatment experienced by many shooters when applying for a firearms licence. Numerous examples given to us by members and the public show that shooters are often treated like common criminals.
We contend that anyone caught up in this latest debacle should only have to pay a pro rata fee to renew their licence and thus bring some semblance of order as quickly as possible.
The Minister’s response to our meeting today is as follows:
Thank you for meeting with me today to discuss the concerns of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) regarding WA Police’s Firearms Registry System.
I share the concerns of the organisation and its members that licence holders will be required to undergo the full application process rather than being able to merely renew their lapsed licenses.
I am aware that many farmers living remotely and competition shooters with multiple firearms and other individuals have been affected by this situation and I have been working closely with WA Police to determine a simpler course of addressing the issue.
Unfortunately, I am informed that where the expiry date exceeds 12 months, the only options under the legislation are to either undergo the full application process or dispose of the firearms.
I have sought additional legal advice in the hope of being able to identify an alternative course and expect to have a determination by the end of the week.
I will keep you and your members up to date on any developments with this issue.
Rob Johnson MLA
We are urging all members contact their local member of parliament and voice your disgust at our ongoing mistreatment. We will be waiting for a response by week’s end, as detailed in the Minister’s letter.
Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (WA) Inc