The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) cautiously welcomes comments from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to improve coordination of firearm registries in Australia.
The Australian Firearms Identification Network (AFIN) initiative was born after the 2014 Lindt Café siege to bring together registry data from all jurisdictions, but the integration process was hindered with delays and data consistency issues.
In 2021, the SSAA queried the rollout process and overall effectiveness of AFIN and was assured the processes for data uploading had been committed to by all stakeholders and further enhancements were planned for the 2021–22 financial year.
Prime Minister Albanese’s stipulation that there would not be a review involving changing the nature of firearm laws, but rather on investigating potential national system inadequacies is prudent in this case.
The acceptance and utilisation of AFIN is now in question and cooperation between all Australian jurisdictions is vital.
It’s important that firearms experts are involved in relevant policy and legislation and we once again call on the federal government to reinstate a Commonwealth Firearms Advisory Council. This will provide a formal working group of key firearms community stakeholders to offer informed advice and consultation.
The SSAA is committed to maintaining positive working relationships with all levels of government and departments to ensure legislation and policy does not adversely affect the members of our state and territory branches.