Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and Australia’s Police Ministers are driving the implementation of a National Firearms Register with an air of urgency. Following a meeting in early April, the Attorney-General’s Department released a public consultation paper inviting comments on “the key capabilities and benefits a Register could provide for law enforcement, government regulators and the public”.
The concept of a Register was raised in late 2022 following a horrific act of domestic terrorism. Elected leaders from around the country predictably called for a firearm law review to address the public outcry, until it became clear there was more to the story of the perpetrators and system failings may have contributed to the tragic events. A National Cabinet meeting of Premiers and the Prime Minister confirmed moves towards a Register in February and plans appear to be progressing quickly.
In the days following the announcement of a public consultation paper, the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia’s Media and Politics Officer, Rachael Oxborrow, spoke with ABC Brisbane, questioning the motives to push through a Register in this way and provide a snapshot into firearm ownership in Australia.
The concern SSAA National continues to have is whether calls for a National Firearms Register would involve changes and negatively impact us as law-abiding licensed firearm owners. The upgrades required to bring state and territory registries to standard and who’ll be funding this process is another elephant in the room which needs addressing. For more on SSAA National’s submission to the Attorney-General’s Department, turn to Page 56.
In news on the home front, the SSAA disciplines are ramping up to include international teams and host world class events in Australia. In August, SSAA Mickett Creek Shooting Complex in the Northern Territory will welcome the eighth International Big Game Rifle | Dangerous Game Shoot. This is a great chance for Australian-based members and shooters from overseas to visit the Northern Territory where there are outstanding opportunities for hunting game including buffalo, banteng, wild boar, scrub bull and various deer species not found in other parts of the country.
It’s great to see our disciplines and international counterparts getting back into the swing of things, so to check the calendar for your favourite discipline visit www.ssaa.org.au/disciplines
Please note: The International Big Game Rifle | Dangerous Game Shoot has now been cancelled for 2023. Organisers hope to bring the event to Australia in 2024.