The comments below can be attributed to Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia Western Australia (SSAA WA) President Paul Fitzgerald.
The Western Australian Government is blatantly disrespecting law-abiding licensed firearm owners by forcing them to hand in their belongings and wait up to two months for compensation.
These upstanding civilians hold firearms, ammunition and accessories that are inexplicably the next target of the government’s campaign against safe and legitimate firearm use.
Details of the buyback are reaching the owners of the 248 firearms now effectively illegal because the WA Police perceive these firearms and the ammunition to be a threat to public safety. The correspondence outlines firearms and ammunition are to be handed over and only firearms to be the subject of compensation.
The owners of these firearms have invested significant amount of time and money into their sport, recreational pastime and tools of trade for pest control with the understanding that if they act lawfully, they can carry out their activities, not dissimilar to people altering cars or sporting equipment fit for purpose.
These firearms and ammunition are often worth thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars. Often, these firearms range from important historical collectors’ items to crucial tools widely used to conduct pest control of larger animals, such as camels and buffalo in WA.
The ammunition and accessories that accompany these firearms such as custom rifle scopes, laser range finders, spotting scopes, wind meters, and other shooting aids specific to that individual firearm are also incredibly valuable. The police have gone as far as to suggest firearm owners sell off their firearms, ammunition and accessories interstate; they appear quite happy to pass off these apparently risky items to other jurisdictions.