Tasmanian shooters want age limit lifted

Originally published in the Launceston Examiner

Tasmanian Sporting Shooters Association president Andrew Judd believes the age limit for minor firearm licences should be lifted entirely.

The move would allow juniors to shoot under the guidance of a licensed firearm owner.

“If someone is under the guidance of a licensed firearm owner, they don't have unrestricted access to the firearms and they're being taught safe and responsible handling as such,” Mr Judd said.

“Also, it's a recognised sport, it's part of the Olympics …as in any sport we would like to see juniors get into it at the youngest age possible.

“If someone got hit with a cricket bat it's like saying to a kid they can't play cricket.”

Mr Judd said he had met Police Minister Rene Hidding to discuss the issue.

“We did actually have a meeting with the new police minister, and discussed it with him,” he said.

“At this stage there was some talk of reducing it with the new rewrite of the legislation.

“There was some discussion about altering the age, but there was no clarification as to whether it would be dropped or what would actually happen to it.”

Mr Judd said a large number of people were affected by the age restrictions.

“I was only talking to a young gentleman today who signed his son up into the club, and his son is 12 years old, and he's got to wait until he's 16 until he can go hunting with his father and his grandfather,” he said.

“Juniors and young people aren't getting to enjoy the outdoors as much as what they used to because they can't participate in what their family does.”

The government has declined to comment.

All News