Firearms focus aftermath: Media messages and Govt commitments

A series of news and opinion articles entitled Target on Guns in The Australian has led a charge of commentary on topics surrounding legal and illegal firearms in our country in recent weeks. This series of news articles were timed around the 12-month anniversary of the tragic Wieambilla shootings, where a trio of Christian extremists committed an act of domestic terrorism that resulted in loss of life.

It was also highlighting the almost 12-month anniversary of the Federal Government committing to a National Firearms Register database, bringing together state and territory firearms registries. This move was attributed to the improvement of public safety by ensuring law enforcement can have full access to all details relevant to their work without the separation of information by jurisdictions.

Some of the coverage involved topics of relevance to Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia state and territory members and comment was provided. Other stories touched on topics not directly relevant but our relationship with the journalists involved allowed for background context and feedback.

Among the articles where SSAA Inc provided comment was a spotlight on range safety and the growing junior demographic in target shooting. On December 6, the meeting of state and territory Premiers and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, known as National Cabinet, resulted in a funding announcement to improve firearms registries at state and territory level to allow a National Firearms Registry to proceed. SSAA Inc has updated members and provided feedback on this concept over the past 12 months, including through the formal Attorney-General’s Department consultation and in regular communication with representatives from this department. Following this announcement, SSAA Inc released a media statement and was invited to comment in more detail via the ABC’s AM program.

Advice from the Attorney-General’s Department is that processes will now begin to launch this four-year project which media reports indicate could cost around $250 million. As this happens, SSAA Inc remains committed to representing state and territory members and the wider firearms industry in the development and functionality of this system and will provide updates for members as the process allows.

All News