Jul
26

HUGE SUCCESS Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships 2015 Gympie.

The Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships 2015

Getting ready for Prizes

Getting ready for Prizes

The Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships 2015 was a huge success. So successful, that it makes it very difficult to apportion the precedence of benefits and accolades. Overall, the beneficiaries were the hunters and shooters of Queensland, the food producers of Queensland, (from the loss of 660 feral pigs), and the firearm and hunting accessories industry which would benefit from the flow on of the interest in hunting. $30,000. Worth of prizes and cash were raised with nearly $10,000 of cash donated to the ‘Wandering Warriors’ SAS (Queensland) . $40,000 plus was raised with very few costs due to the fantastic efforts of the volunteers.

11 tons of sleeping pigs, waiting for more bed fellows.

11 tons of sleeping pigs, waiting for more bed fellows.

For too many years we have been the under -dogs, we have been pushed into the darkness, we need to struggled for recognition in the hearts and minds of real Australians. These ‘win’ ‘win’ activities proving how we constantly benefit Australia’s future are the way forward.

Steve Lee singing his famous "I like Guns". In front of the Gympie Times Raffle Drum.

Steve Lee singing his famous “I like Guns”. In front of the Gympie Times Raffle Drum.

The media support was enormous, and their surveys showed a 97% support for the efforts and even suggested that the event should be held four times a year to eradicate the doomsday menace.

This is part of the message I delivered at the Prize Giving.

“The issues are.

We have an unalienable, or God Given Right to hunt on crown, or public land. In Queensland that Right is denied to us,

We have an unalienable, or God Given Right to defend our lives, our homes, our crops, our produce, our property from all encroachers both Animal and human. In Queensland that Right is denied to us.

95% of there brothers and sisters are protected in our National Parks and Public Land, but they eat our Farmers out of house and home.

95% of their brothers and sisters are protected in our National Parks and Public Land, but they eat our Farmers out of house and home.

We are again facing encroachments on our inalienable, or God Given Right to own property, our lever action shotguns. Leaving us further down the disarming track.

95 % of these Feral Pigs live in our public land. (Where we are not allowed to hunt)

Last year the Government told us that we had 24 million in Australia with at least a 2.1 ratio increase that over doubles their population every year, this year we have 50 million plus, even though we can deduct the 660 or so that we processed to day. Next year 100 million, the government has no real answer it cannot afford to pay for their destruction and as usual is in effective and in efficient in handling this critical problem for Australia. Slowly but surely we are bringing attention to this Doomsday problem.”

Next year they will have 100 million cousins eating Australia's environment. They will win access for hunters for us.

Next year they will have 100 million cousins eating Australia’s environment. They will win access for hunters for us.

List of some of the many Media Articles.

http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/readers-discuss-we-need-get-rid-destructive-wild-p/2706403/

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/big-boar-hunt-delivers/2704533/

http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/gympies-big-pig-hunting-weekend/2698910/

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/hunters-spend-up-pig-in-town/2702489/

http://www.sportingshootermag.com.au/news/queensland-big-boar-hunting-championships-2015

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/gympies-big-pig-hunting-weekend/2698910/

http://www.sportingshootermag.com.au/news/snap-shots-660-pigs-caught-at-the-big-boar-champs

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/pig-shooting-ron-is-an-unlikely-greenie/2603664/

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Audie Moldre on Anzac  Day, CEO Wandering Warriors SAS Queensland Association.

Audie Moldre on Anzac Day,
CEO Wandering Warriors SAS Queensland Association.

Here is a message of support from Audie Moldre the CEO of the Wandering Warriors, SAS Queensland.

Hi Ron

The ‘speech’ I made at the QLD Big Boar Competition presentations wasn’t scripted, it was off the cuff. Here’s what I would say in relation to Wandering Warriors and your event:

Wandering Warriors is very grateful to the Queensland Big Boar Competition and particularly to Ron Owen, who is the driving force behind the generous donation of all the shooters. We support the competition that supports us because the participants are exercising their right to engage in this sport, and are doing a community service at the same time in trying to keep down the numbers of these destructive feral pests. That’s a win-win as far as we’re concerned.

Wandering Warriors continues to assist Australian Defence Force veterans and their families. We have distributed nearly $200,000 since the inception of our organisation in 2013. As veterans make that difficult transition out of the military, they need community backing on top of the support provided by the ADF and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Comprehensive solutions to the needs of the wounded, the injured and the ill require more than rehabilitation. Rehabilitation has to be coupled with education and employment opportunities to ensure the solutions are lasting ones. Wandering Warriors has recently partnered with the University of Queensland Business School to provide degree courses to selected veterans. We also have some announcements that we hope to make soon about a couple of significant Australian companies are going to provide education and work opportunities for veterans.

We’re proud of our record so far, as a group of volunteers and veterans ourselves. We’re also proud to be associated with an event such as the Queensland Big Boar Competition. Ron Owen and his competitors have been with us almost from the birth of Wandering Warriors, and we look forward to growing bigger and better together.

Kind regards

Audie

Audie Moldre Chief Executive Officer www.wanderingwarriors.org

Audie Moldre at the Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships 2015

Audie Moldre at the Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships 2015

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This is part of the message I delivered at the Prize Giving.

Well thank you, ALL, none of this not one iota of it would happen, if it was not for human generosity, well except for , paying Bunnings for tags and zip ties, the super market for serviettes and tomato sauce and the hire company to clean out the mobile toilet, everything else, has been kindly donated, all the work by all these willing volunteers has generously donated, the fantastic performers have open heartedly donated their services and even the Media, the local paper have been charitable and given us a very fair hearing on these important issues.

Ron reading out the list of fantastic prizes to be awarded to each of the many winners.

Ron reading out the list of fantastic prizes to be awarded to each of the many winners.

With the donations of the sponsors the hunters are encouraged to participate and receive some reward for their annual and ongoing service to this country, and 100 % of the proceeds goes to another separate, but just as worthy cause the ‘Wandering Warrior”s in our past and In todays troubled world Australia faces other external Foe’s and we have to “Salute their sacrifice” We have to pay back and salute that sacrifice, just a tiny tinsie little back to help our Veterans. Even if we had a billion dollars it would never compensate for a moment, or the lack of that moment, to the bereaved or those suffering. Thank you ALL for nominating, buying shirts, raffle tickets, food and other goods thank you for your efforts in raising this amount of money. (Thats where the $10,000 that this event raised for the Wandering Warriors comes from)

Audie Moldre with the Military Brotherhood, who sold us thousands of brilliant doughnuts.

Audie Moldre with the Military Brotherhood, who sold us thousands of brilliant doughnuts.

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Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships 2015.

Scores and Results.

Heaviest Pig Boys.

1st. Roger Hayden 130.5 kg
IMG_2887 (Copy)

Big Boar Perpetual Trophy made by woodworker Jim Sweeny. Winchester Model 70 Feather weight, 300 win Mag, Spika Hunting Knife One. Mooloo Mountain, Big Bag of Dog food Down Under Taxidermy donated a taxidermy Boars head for the biggest boar. Peiper Imports Hat.

2nd Mark Wadsworth 129.8 kg

Mark Wadsworth with the second heaviest pig.

Mark Wadsworth with the second heaviest pig.

Extreame SAS. One SOG Tactical Tomahawk for Auto Barn Trolley Jack, One Tasco, World Class 3-9x 40 Rifle scopes. Spika Hunting Knife, Cleaning Kit.Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag.

3rd Greg Richards 118.10 Kg

Natureworks, Fugly Hogs Head Wall mount. Pieper Pig Sticking Knives, Engine Parts Centre One LED lights Blue,Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food. Winchester Driving Lights, Shooter Union Membership. Peiper Hat

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Heaviest Pig Girls

1st Natalie Cepeniuk 109 ?Kg

OSA Howa .243 Centrefire Rifle with Muddy Girl stock, Landmark Bottle of Wine. Un Earthed Cap.

2nd Bonney Kerr

1 Wheel Alignment vouchers, Chemist Warehouse, 1 Bag, Mouse Pad, Blissful Beingness ½ hour Massage, Gympie Master Locksmiths, One Padlocks, Music Land 1 cap. Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag

3rd Bonney Kerr

Peiper Imports Pig Sticking Knife, Apron Maxwell & Williams Mug Mouse Pad, APDHA , membership. Shooter Union Membership

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Most Pigs Boys

Troy Tompkins who won the most pigs (56) receives his Mossberg 30-06 from our local MP Tony Perret who donated it.

Troy Tompkins who won the most pigs (56) receives his Mossberg 30-06 from our local MP Tony Perret who donated it.

1st Troy Tompkins 56 Pigs,

Gympie Local MP, One Mossberg 30-06 Rifle. $ 500 Cash Prize from the Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships. Robert Lindemann from A1 Buck off Taxidermy a Boars head for the most Pigs. Spika Hunting Knife One. Mama & Papa’s $30 food vouchers. Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag. Peiper Imports Hat

2nd Adam Green 37 Pigs,

Owen Guns JW 15 Puma .22 Rifle. Gympie Feed Barn $200 vouchers,Winchester Ammunition. 200 rounds 308 ammo. Spika Hunting Knife One. Tasco Sales, Ear Muffs, Cleaning Kit. One bag. Peiper Imports Hat Mouse Pad.

3rd Roger Hayden 28 pigs,

Lee Reloading Press and Kit. Advance Tyres 1 Wheel Alignment vouchers, APDHA Membership, Mouse Pad Winchester , Driving Lights. Peiper Imports Hat, Shooter Union Membership, Voucher for $175. Fuel or accommodation.

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Most Pigs Girls

1st Natalie Cepeniuk 6 pigs

Shooters and Fishers Party One Mossberg Maverick .30-06 Rifle. Batik Boutique Scarf, Peiper Imports One Pig Sticking Knife. Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag.

2nd Bonny Kerr 3 Pigs

Harvey Norman a Sound Speaker System , Chemist Warehouse 1 Bag. Mouse Pad

3rd Danielle Skelton 2 pigs

Pro Max, Towels and Water Bottles, Mouse Pad, Decorative Tile, Shooter Union Membership

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Longest Tooth

1st Chris Kerr

$1000. Gympie Dental, Voucher Power Beam, Spot Light, Mouse Pad

2nd Matt Grady

$500. Gympie Dental Voucher Power Beam, Aspen Binoculars Mouse Pad

3rd Roger Hayden

$250 Gympie Dental. Voucher Mouse Pad

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Largest Pigs Ear.

Bonny Kerr 184 mm

Alcock & Piece, Cometta Fusion Air Rifle, Mouse Pad, Mama & Papa’s $30 food voucher,

Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag.Shooter Union Membership

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Longest Tail.

1st Bonney Kerr

Shooters and Fishers Party One Mossberg Maverick .30-06 Rifle Pair Thongs.

2nd Chris Kerr

BCF One Camp Chairs, Mouse Pad Music Land One CDs .

3rd Chris Kerr

ARB One Snatch Straps, Engine Parts Centre One LED lights Blue Mouse Pad, Sharon’s Barber Shop one x Hair cut Voucher, APDHA memberships.

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Pig Lotto

1st Brendan Mac Sweeny

Beretta Australia .308 Zastava Centrefire Rifle, Spika Hunting Knife One. Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag.

2nd Natalie Cepeniuk

Owen Guns JW 15 Puma .22 Rifle. Tasco Sales Night Prowler spot Light, Mouse Pad,Music Land

One CD . Peiper Imports One Pig Sticking Knife.

3rd Natalie Cepeniuk

ARB One Snatch Straps. Mouse Pad, Gympie Master Locksmiths One Padlocks, Unearthed Hat. Power Beam, Muela knife,Shooter Union Membership, Winchester Driving Lights. Pair of Thongs.

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Smallest Pig

Chris Kerr.

Tasco Sales BSA Meteor Air Rifle, Spika Hunting Knife One. An Assortment of Macadamia Nuts and Sweets from Kens Nuts. Gympie Master Locksmiths Door Lock, Mouse Pad, Tom Grady Hat. Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag.

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Largest Diameter Snout

1st Troy Tompkins

Troy Tompkins receives a Remington Model 782 scope and mounts from James from Raytrade.

Troy Tompkins receives a Remington Model 782 scope and mounts from James from Raytrade.

Raytrade Pty Ltd, Remington Model 783 .308 Rifle mounts and 3-9×40 scope. Peiper Imports One Pig Sticking Knife. Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag.

2nd Bonney Kerr

Queensland Rural Supplies One $100. Vouchers. Mouse Pad,,Wide Bay Hydraulics

Assorted Tools. Peiper Imports One Pig Sticking Knife.

3rd Chris Kerr

Mouse Pad , Bridgestone,1 wheel alignment, Bendigo Bank Hat, Bottle & 2 Stubby holders

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Most Number of Snouts

1st Troy Tompkins

S& H Shooting. Under and Over Armed 12 g Shotgun Camo Short barrel.Winchester, Driving Lights. Spika Hunting Knife One. Peiper Imports One Pig Sticking Knife. Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag.

2nd Chris Kerr

Owen Guns JW 15 Puma .22 Rifle ADG Panel Service $200. Voucher, Extreame SAS.com One SOG Tactical Tomahawk Mouse Pad.

3rd Ben Heath

World Class 3-9x 40 Rifle scopes. Mouse Pad, Sharon’s Barber Shop one x Hair cut Voucher, APDHA Membership. BCF Camping Chair. Tasco Earmuffs and Bore snake.

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Guess the Weight of the Heaviest Pig.

Natalie Cepeniuk and Michael Simpson both guessed the nearest weight at 130 kg just .5 form the actual weight.

So shared this prize Owen Guns JW 15 Puma .22 Rifle. Back Pack from Mossberg. The Stock Exchange, $40 Pocket Knife, Mouse Pad, Mr Executive Menswear Hat, Queensland Rural Supplies $100. Vouchers. Spika Hunting Knife .Uncle Albers Hunting Dog Food One bag.

IMG_2777 (Copy)

Kelly Parker swinging, singing, warmed the hearts of the masses.

Thanks to Lou Warren everyone won a copy of her magazine Chicks Smashing Grunters,

All the spectators won great entertainment by Steve Lee, Kelly Parker, and Krysalus.

Krysalus made music and warmed up the crowds.

Krysalus made music and warmed up the crowds.

We also enjoyed great food from GI Pigs. Pig on a Spit. Military Brotherhoods Doughnuts, Simply Delicious Macadamia Nuts, and Hot Stuff.

It was so cold, dancing was encouraged.

It was so cold, dancing was encouraged.

Everyone acknowledged that without the tireless work of the valiant volunteers who worked so hard to put on the event, nothing would happen.

The workers hard at they must have moved 20 tons around before it was over and they could have a rest.

The workers hard at they must have moved 20 tons around before it was over and they could have a rest.

 

May
24

Application for RIGHT OF REPLY. Reference Ministerial Response to Petition 2239-14

QFAA-LOGO
To Mr Neil Laurie,
The Clerk of Parliament,
Parliament House,
George Street,
Brisbane.
10th May 2015.

Dear Mr Laurie,

Reference Ministerial Response to Petition 2239-14

Application for RIGHT OF REPLY.

Thank you for forwarding the Ministerial Response, with having to write a petition and use only 250 words it was impossible to present all the facts to table before parliament. I had to presume that the Minister and parliament knew the law, as it had voted on those laws. When a Minister obviously, as stated, acting with advice from their Ministry misinforms parliament as to its laws and to their application, (as this is a grave Ministerial sin, sometimes called Contempt of Parliament) a petitioner should have a mechanism of recourse. Surely as I have been personally mentioned in this response to Parliament, justice should ensure that I have at least a right of reply. With a normal defamation, like this response document I could have recourse to the Courts but under the privilege of parliament and the Bill of Rights of 1689 the elected representatives have immunity.

“That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.”

So Parliament is my only recourse to fairness.

If Parliament then finds that it has been misinformed, it then can at least take action and prosecute people to remedy, ensuring that government departments do not make too much of a habit of it. Besides, this response misinforming Parliament, it has tried to misinformed the 2272 petitioners who have experienced this ongoing problem and those who hoped for a remedy from this house.

1. The Minister states,

“I am advised the requirement to have a PTA generally for each transaction involving a firearm is mandated in Queensland legislation as a result of the 1996 National Firearms Agreement (NFA). Resolution 7 (a) states “that a separate permit be required for the acquisition of every firearm.”

Mandate, but not Written.

Mandate, is not law, Agreement is not law, the people who represent us are supposed to consult with there constituents before voting on legislation, Queensland is not governed by Mandate. Queenslanders have not agreed to this Mandate. Nor has this house of parliament legislated to impose two systems of control over law abiding licenced people, it only legislates for one. An either, or. ‘Police Policy’ imposes both.

The last person to hold a Mandate over us was King John and that was changed at Runnymeade, in 1215 when the foundation document of parliaments, the First Magna Carta was signed.

The NFA Agreement was never agreed to by a majority of the people of Queensland, or a majority of their representatives.
559071_3940722648734_1937030974_n

2. The Minister states,

“Since that time there have been regular meetings between State Police Ministers and the

Commonwealth Attorney-General on the provisions of this agreement and there has not

been any indication that any jurisdiction wishes to change or amend this aspect of the

legislation.

This statement is incorrect in fact and totally misleading,

a) the petition did not ask for the legislation to be changed,

b) the meeting of State Police Ministers and the Commonwealth Attorney-General should have no bearing or input into the plus or minus of Queensland legislation, we do not vote for those other people we vote for our representatives in the house that is why it is called the House of Legislature, or the Legislative Assembly. The people of Queensland should suggest to the crown Queensland’s laws, our sovereignty should not be given away.

c) The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee, on Ability of Australian law enforcement authorities to eliminate gun-related violence in the community. They met over an 18 month study and investigated over 400 submission, including submission from every State police force. In April 2015 it gave its findings in Commonwealth of Australia document ISBN 978-1-76010-187-9. (See Below)

The findings by the majority of Senators was best finalised by their Recommendation 5

“1.225 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend State and territory governments investigate avenues to deregulate the firearm industry to ease the economic burden on governments, industry and legal firearm users.”

You will notice that this is diametrically opposite to the misinformation given by the Minister.

d) The Minister states, “The PTA application process has been successful in limiting the numbers of firearms in the community to those that are considered necessary”. Charging a licence fee for the person and then charging $34. per firearm each time, by those that consider it necessary to charge some and not others, by an admitted “Police Policy”, is a fine with out conviction of a court, and totally illegal and void. See Bill of Rights 1689

An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject

“made of fines and forfeitures before any conviction or judgment against the persons upon whom the same were to be levied; All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and statutes and freedom of this realm;” “That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;“.

3. The Minister states, “the petition questions the necessity for a Permit to Acquire (PTA) system.It does not.

It states, “ by immediately instructing the Queensland Police to cease the duplication of an unnecessary imposition of the PTA system and allow licensed shooters to acquire the firearms in the category they are licensed for.

4. It is the Minister who has raised that question, the petitioners would not have signed the petition if they considered that is was necessary, or if it was questionable.

Throughout the Ministers response she goes to great lengths to state that the Weapons Act 1990 Section 38 to 48 specifies and impose the PTA system on each Acquisition, sale and disposal of a firearm but on any basic perusal it does not do that.

Section 38 controls who can endorse a PTA

Section 39 limits who a PTA can be issued to

Section 40 Only in the approved form

Section 41 An officer can make enquiries

Section 42 an Authorised Officer decides application

Section 43 Only issued on approved form

Section 44 Notice of Rejection of PTA

Section 45 Term of permits existence

Section 46 Reporting loss or theft of PTA

Section 47 Replacing a PTA

Section 48 Surrender of a PTA. Acquisition, sale and disposal of a firearm.

Nowhere in these sections does the legislation impose the PTA on each and ever acquisition, sale and disposal of a firearm. In Section 35 it gives three Options a, b, and c, Option b is the PTA, and option c is the lawful authority (as defined in 49A) as the licence in the correct category.

5. In a letter on 30th April 2015 to Ronald Owen, the Honourable Jo-Ann Miller MP, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services, the PTA system is implemented by “Police Policy” quote

Weapons Licensing Branch implemented a policy in 2013 in relation to the transfer of firearms from a deceased estate. This policy allows for weapons to be transferred without the need for a permit to acquire”. Quote

Section 35(1)(c) of the Weapons Act 1990 allows a person to acquire a weapon under other

lawful authority, justification or excuse, for example a beneficiary of an estate. Other examples that allow the transfer of firearms to an individual without the need of a permit to acquire are:

• The transfer of firearms from one licence to another of the same individual on a Form 4E;

• The transfer of firearms from a deceased estate;

• The replacement of stolen firearms; and

• A warranty replacement of firearms from a dealer.”

6. The Minister states in her response on page 2,

“The Authorised Officer, QPS Weapons Licensing, has instituted a policy of a like for like or warranty replacement of firearms at licensed firearms dealers in Queensland.”

And

“Declarations have also been made under the provisions of Section 168B of the Act (Amnesty Declaration), to allow firearms dealers to receive surrendered firearms during the period of the amnesty.” However, no amendments were made to the Weapons Act 1990 or the Regulations to suspend any Sections that specifically imposed the PTA system for the 2 month period when Dealers were allowed to register 22,000 firearms to licensed shooters, forwarding that information to QPS in the normal way. No amendments were necessary as legislation does not impose it, as admitted above The Authorised Officer QPS….has instituted a policy”.

7. By this admission it is plain that if “Police Policy“, can excuse the PTA imposition in these cases due to the lawful authority they can excuse it in any circumstance. If the Police Commissioners Register per Section 49 of the Act knows circumstances of why a need cannot be satisfied in some other way from a deceased estate, or the 22000 that were registered by Dealers to licenced Shooters, in the few months of the last Amnesty, due to Section 35 (1) ( c) allowing other lawful authorities, (The Shooters Licence) then the Queensland Police will be very busy charging the good people who have followed the Police instructions. The Dealer is still restricted and obligated to record and report all transaction details required by Section 49 to the QPS within 14 days.

The 22000 that were registered in the last Amnesty by Queensland Dealers were dealt with by Section 35 (1) ( c) and 49 A of the Weapons Act of 1990 and returned to the licensed owners of that property.

8. Section 3 and 4 Weapons Act, again does not impose the PTA system, “of the Possession of a Firearm is the point of these two sections the strongest being Section 4.

“(c) requiring each person who wishes to possess a firearm under a licence to demonstrate a genuine reason for possessing the firearm;

The Licenced Shooter has to complete a safety/legislation course, make an application, pay hundreds of dollars and forefill all the required questions with written and printed evidence of a genuine need in each category he/she is licenced for. This often takes up to 7 months. To then impose, immediately after another 28 day cooling off period and payment of another $34. and a repetition of his genuine need reasons is an insult.

It is also contrary to the Bill of Rights. “That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;”. The good exemplary citizens, do not deserve to be fined, when they have done no wrong, fined every time they want to purchase, or lawfully transact their own property, that is a firearm. See Thoburn vs City of Sunderland, the decision commonly referred to as the “Metric Martyrs” Judgment. This was handed down in the Divisional Court (18th February 2002) by Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Crane:

9. The defamation by the Minister of all Licensed Shooters including myself as the person named in the response, by her answer to our humble request the need to ensure public and individual safety, and that public and individual safety is improved by imposing strict controls on the possession of weapons.” Is insinuating, that hundreds of thousands of Queenslands Law abiding licensed shooters like myself are a Danger to the Community, and have to respond to this false danger by imposing further strict controls is derogatory, disparaging and slander, as a private citizen I do not have to prove malice, to have my reputation impugned by false statements disregarding my rights. I should have legal recourse, but in this instance justice can only be served by my application to Parliament.

See Bill of Rights 1689.

“That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.

10. This Defamation is false as there is no evidence to support the Minister’s allegation that I, or the other licenced shooters in Queensland are a danger to the Queensland community.

See

New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 84 S. Ct. 710, 11 L. Ed. 2d 686 (1964).

See Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 94 S. Ct. 2997, 41 L. Ed. 2d 789 [1974]).

In fact, the reverse is true, licensed shooters have to have be the most dependable citizens who have exemplary conduct and the records show that to be the case in every State of Australia. As evidence to this fact we refer the Parliament of Queensland to these excepts from the following document.
THE  EVIDENCE.

The Senate, Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee

Ability of Australian law enforcement authorities to eliminate gun-related violence in the community.

64915_461828607209402_1890451459_n
April 2015. Commonwealth of Australia 2015 ISBN 978-1-76010-187-9

Chapter 4

ADDITIONAL REMARKS

1.152 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry welcome the Chair’s comments that it was not the intention of the inquiry to target law-abiding firearms owners through this inquiry. The Committee heard evidence that lawful use of firearms has a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits to the Australian community which deserve to be promoted to counteract the myths about them which are perpetuated by some in the community.

1.153 One of the difficulties encountered by this inquiry has been the inability of the Committee to ascertain, with any degree of certainty, where the majority of the illicit guns originate and the size of the illegal gun market.

1.154 Notwithstanding that difficulty, the evidence provided by witnesses including law enforcement agencies, confirmed that most guns used in the commission of crime do not originate from licensed firearm owners.

1.155 No case was made to the committee for any increased regulation around gun ownership laws. In particular there was no evidence to show that:

* banning semi-automatic handguns would have any material effect on the number of illegally held firearms in Australia;

* stricter storage requirements and the use of electronic alarm systems for guns stored in homes would have any impact on gun-related violence; and

* anomalies in federal, state and territory laws regarding the ownership, sale, storage and transit across state boundaries of legal firearms has any material impact on gun-related violence in the community.

Misinformation not helpful

1.157 Despite the acknowledged deficiencies in the data available, the Chair of the inquiry has unfortunately made comments in the media about the size of the illegal gun market and its impact on crime in the community. Many of the claims made were not substantiated by the evidence to the inquiry, particularly regarding the source of illegal guns and legal gun owners in Australia.

1.158 Claims made in the media by the Chair, which The majority of Senators attending the inquiry believe are not substantiated by the evidence, include:

*most illegal guns are not trafficked into Australia, but stolen from registered owners; and

*many illicit firearms are actually stolen from legitimate sources or taken from the grey market, including the gun used in the Sydney siege.

1.159 The hypothesis that illegal guns are mainly stolen from registered gun owners was not supported by the evidence presented to the Committee.

1.161 The Sporting Shooter’s Association of Australia asserted that the data presented by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) are unreliable because they:

* have been supplied, unintentionally, with data, contaminated at best, and rubbish at worst, from South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria,

*skewing results and leading to a misunderstanding of the legal and illegal firearms landscape.

(153 Mr Geoffrey Jones, Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 10.

154 Mr Paul Jevtovic, Australian Crime Commission, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 34.

155 Media Release, The Hon. Jason Clare MP, Final Report of the National Investigation into the Illegal Firearms Market, 29 June 2012.

156 National Firearm Dealers Association Inc., Submission 85, p. 6.)

whether a third of these firearms can be classed as illicit considering 33.5 per cent of the traces had an unknown method of diversion due to insufficient information.

1.165 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry agree with Mr Rossi, President of the National Firearms Dealers Association:

Policy and research ought to be underpinned by comprehensive, accurate, verifiable and transparent data. We believe that any policy based inquiry must be built on these foundations. In the case of firearm and shooter issues, this is not the case. That includes the issues that are the subject of this inquiry.

1.166 Accordingly it is not advisable for the Committee to make any recommendations based on flawed evidence. Further developments in policy should be focussed on further research in this area.

Data Deficiencies – Theft of firearms

1.167 The data on the number of stolen firearms provided by the AIC is dependent on the reliability of data provided to it by the state authorities, which cannot be relied upon for the following reasons:

*Some jurisdictions did not provide data for all collection years or did not provide the full complement of data requested for individual years. For example, the data for stolen firearms excludes Western Australia for 2007-08;

*Victoria inadvertently recorded firearm parts as actual stolen firearms; and

* The numbers were inverted by accident to read 41 300 handguns rather than 14 300 being licensed in South Australia.

1.168 There was no evidence presented to the Committee which demonstrated a significant problem with stolen firearms being used for criminal activity:

*Data provided by state and territory police indicated that firearms from a very small percentage of theft incidents (less than 5 per cent) reported in the four year period 2005-06 to 2008-09 were subsequently used to commit a criminal offence or found in the possession of a person charged with a non-firearm related criminal offence; and

(157 Media Release, The Hon. Jason Clare MP, Final Report of the National Investigation into the Illegal Firearms Market, 29 June 2012.

158 Mr Luca Scribani, President, National Firearm Dealers Association Inc., Committee Hansard, Tuesday 14 October 2014, p. 28.

159 Australian Institute of Criminology, Submission 76, p. 9.

160 Mr Geoffrey Jones, Sporting Shooter’s Association, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 13.

161 Sporting Shooter’s Association, Submission 58, p. 4.

162 Australian Institute of Criminology, Submission 76, p. 10.)

* there are very few firearms that have been stolen and subsequently used in illegal acts or established as coming from a pathway from a registered firearm owner, through theft, into a recorded crime.

1.169 During the public hearing, Dr John Lott gave evidence in relation to an AIC report which showed that one in every 2500 guns were stolen, a rate of four hundredths of one per cent. Of the 664 guns stolen as described in the report, three were used in the commission of a crime. Dr Lott argued that by any measure the costs of firearms regulation greatly outweighs any expected benefits.

1.170 According to the ACC an average of 1545 firearms per annum was reported stolen during the period 2004-05 to 2008-9. The majority of reported stolen firearms are rifles, followed by shotguns. Handguns generally make up less than 10 per cent of stolen firearms.

1.171 The committee heard that even though the current price of an illegal handgun was up to $15 000, there had been no rise in gun thefts from licensed gun owners.

The Law Enforcement Response to Illegal Firearms

 

1.172 Some witnesses claimed that firearms reform in Australia over the last two decades had helped to significantly reduce the misuse of firearms with firearm related homicide in Australia down from 31.9 per cent in 1998 to 18.9 per cent in 2013.

1.173 Others asserted that similar declines had been observed in countries that did not adopt Australia’s approach to gun control, including New Zealand.

1.174 Moreover, it is noted that knives continue to be the most commonly used weapon in homicides, not guns, with 42 per cent of all homicide incidents in 2010

*11 involving knives/sharp instruments compared with 14 per cent involving the use of a firearm.

1.175 Since 1996 there has been a national approach to the regulation of firearms, resulting from the 1996 National Firearms Agreement, the 1996 Firearms Buyback, the 2002 National Firearms Trafficking Policy Agreement and the National Handgun Control Agreement.

(163 Mr Gary Bryant, General Manager, Firearm Safely and Training Council, Committee Hansard, 13 October 2014, p. 5.

164 Dr John Lott, Crime Prevention Resource Centre, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 3.

165 Australian Crime Commission, Submission 75, p. 4.

166 Det. Chief Supt Ken Finch, Organised Crime Directorate NSW Police, Committee Hansard, 13 October 2014, p. 45.

167 Ms Catherine Smith, Attorney General’s Department, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 52.

168 Willow Bryant & Tracy Cussen, Homicide in Australia: 2010¡V11 to 2011¡V12: National Homicide Monitoring Program report, Australian Institute of Criminology, Monitoring Report 23, p. vi.)

Jurisdictions in Dealing with Illegal Firearms.

1.176 The claim in the Attorney General’s Department submission that the lack of a uniform approach to gun control in Australia prior to 1996 was a significant factor in the diversion of firearms to the illicit market was not supported by any evidence.

1.177 There were, and still are, ample opportunities for firearms to be acquired for criminal purposes and no reason was offered to suggest how that the differences between states had ever been a major contributor to this.

1.178 Mr Tim Bannister, CEO of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, argued that the focus of the NFA was flawed:

“The concept of government registries and manually generated permits to acquire and the like is nothing more than a holdover from a time before electronic data retention, and it is not only completely ineffective but incredibly expensive to maintain. However, here in Australian the vast majority of state and federal law enforcement resources and strategies are now, and have been for the past 18 years, mistakenly focused on spending massive amounts of their time and efforts on monitoring and restricting the activities of just one sector of our society, the licensed firearms owners, which every statistic and every example show are responsible for almost no gun related violence.”

(169 Attorney-General’s Department, Submission 42, p. 5.

170 Mr Graham Park, Shooters Union of Australia, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 10.

171 Attorney-General’s Department, Submission 42, p. 5.)

1.184 The NSW Police agreed that illegal imports contribute to the presence of firearms in the community:

The fight against illegal gun crime must start at the nation’s borders. The day to day experience of front line police in NSW suggests that the illegal importation of firearms, especially modern handguns and assault rifles, is a key driver of gun crime in NSW.

Stricter storage requirements

1.190 There was no credible evidence provided to support the conclusion that the use of electronic alarms on residential gun safes would materially enhance the security of stored firearms.

The Economic, Environmental and Social Benefits of Legal Firearm Use

1.191 The committee heard from several witnesses and received written submissions describing the wide range of benefits to the Australian community of the lawful use of firearms. Responsible recreational shooting and hunting is a culturally important activity and legitimate industry that creates jobs and injects significant funds into the economy. Farmers use firearms as a ‘tool’ of their trade for the control of pests who wreak havoc on the environment and the humane treatment of stock.

1.192 The committee did not seek to address the economics of a failure to control illicit firearms or the financial and resource costs involved in monitoring and enforcing firearms laws and their impact on legal firearms owners.

1.193 The committee heard that there is no direct mechanism for shooting groups and the firearms industry to be consulted since the abolition of the Commonwealth firearms advisory committee.

Hunting

1.194 Game hunting provides significant social and cultural benefits to our nation. An independent study by the University of Queensland demonstrates that the benefit of recreational hunting to the economy is at least $1 billion. The number of recreational hunters in Australia was calculated to be at least 200 000, but more likely 300 000.

1.195 Evidence received from the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia conservatively estimates the contributions of hunting, pest control activities, farming and the shooting sports to be between $1.25 and $1.5 billion per annum.

1.196 The Victorian Government estimates that the total economic impact of game and pest animal hunting by game licence holders in 2013 was worth $439 million to

(176 Victoria Police, Submission 389, p. 4.

177 Sporting Shooter’s Association Australia, Response to Question on Notice.

178 Sporting Shooter’s Association Australia, Response to Question on Notice.

179 Sporting Shooter’s Association Australia, Response to Question on Notice.)

the economy and that 60 per cent of hunting expenditure occurs in regional Victoria.

Competitive Shooting

1.197 In its submission Field and Game Australia Inc. stated that:

Participating in target shooting sports and hunting are increasing in Australia with participants coming from a wide variety of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.

1.198 Competitive shooting is a legitimate use of firearms and Australian shooters compete at Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth and world championship level. The sport requires intense training and is already heavily regulated. The Committee heard from Shooting Australia that those wishing to compete in this legitimate sport must already undergo lengthy probationary periods.

1.199 The Committee also heard that recreational shooting provides benefits for a wide variety of people including those with a disability or unable to participate in contact sports. In some disciplines women can compete on equal terms with men and the old with the young. Disabled shooters are provided with similar opportunities as their able-bodied counterparts, and compete at local, state, national and international levels. Additionally young Australian’s have established a network of young shooters, establishing a community across the country that enjoys this legitimate use of firearms.

Agricultural/Environmental Uses

1.200 The Committee heard that firearms are a very important tool in agriculture as they are used for a variety of purposes such as humanely putting down an injured animal and controlling feral pests. Creating further regulation on firearm use would be an unnecessary financial and practical burden on farmers, as described by the National Farmer’s Federation:

*there are set-up costs with access to firearms and then ongoing maintenance. Most farm businesses in Australia are small businesses. Many of them operate in a low cash environment. Particularly when things are tighter, any additional cost has an impact on the ability of the farm business to keep going. So any additional cost is a serious concern to us and our members.

1.201 Australian farmers are one of our country’s best protectors of the natural environment. Farmers in various agricultural and horticultural industries take it upon themselves to remove feral, pest species of animals including foxes, cats, wild pigs.

(180 Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Estimating the economic impact of hunting in Victoria in 2013.

181 Field and Game Australia Inc., Submission 81, p. 7.

182 Mrs Catherine Fettell, Shooting Australia, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 14.

183 Ms Sarah McKinnon, National Farmers’ Federation, Committee Hansard, 13 October 2014, p. 16.)

wild dogs, rabbits and others. The Committee heard that the cost of pest animals to agriculture is in excess of $750 million.

1.202 Destroying these nuisance animals with firearms is far more humane than baiting or poisoning which can often take a toll on native species:

*a firearm is a necessary adjunct to rural occupations in respect of dealing with animals humanely and efficiently and we know that we cannot keep dropping increasing thousands of tonnes of poison into the environment trying to control feral animals when in fact the firearm is largely underused and underutilised.

1.203 As well as protecting our native species from predators and competition for food from introduced species, farmers are able to enjoy higher yields in both livestock and horticultural settings with the assistance of firearms.

International Comparisons

1.204 At an international level, there is no consensus on whether there exists a relationship between the level of firearm availability and firearm-related violence. Mr David Hawker pointed out that New Zealand declined the invitation to join with Australia in adopting firearms registration in 1996. Canada has since abandoned longarm registration, concluding it was not worth the cost. He agreed that neither country had seen a subsequent increase in gun related violence and stated ‘we are going to considerable expense for questionable results.

1.205 Police witnesses were unable to account for the disparity between their views on gun ownership and community safety and the record of Switzerland and Israel that have extremely high gun ownership, but low levels of gun-related crime.

New Zealand

1.206 In 1983, New Zealand moved away from the requirement to register long-arms and focus available resources upon the person making an application for a firearm licence by ensuring, as far as possible, that only fit and proper people had access to firearms. The licensing system includes background and reference checks, as well as safety training and a written test.

1.207 There are estimated to be about 1.1 million firearms in New Zealand,

*about one for every four people. The rate of deaths involving firearms has decreased in the past twenty years, including those resulting from assault, suicide, and accidents.

(184 The Hon. David Hawker, Committee Hansard, 14 October 2014, p. 55.

185 Mr Gary Bryant, General Manager, Firearm Safely and Training Council, Committee Hansard, 13 October 2014, p. 6.

186 The Hon. David Hawker, Committee Hansard, 14 October 2014, p. 60.

187 Library of Congress, Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: New Zealand, at http://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/newzealand.php (accessed 9 April 2015).

1.208 Additional evidence provided to the Committee showed that violent offending with firearms remained stable in New Zealand at about 1.3 per cent of all violent offending from 1985 – 2005.

Canada

1.209 Canada has followed New Zealand’s example and focuses more on the person making an application for a licence. Canada decreased the regulatory requirements for long arms and found no subsequent increase in gun related violence. Applicants are required to pass safety tests before being eligible for a firearms license. Applicants are also subject to background checks which take into account criminal, mental health, addiction, and domestic violence records. According to 2010 data, over the past thirty years firearm-related homicides have continued to decline.

United Kingdom.

1.210 The United Kingdom has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. In 1997 the UK banned all handguns. Only police officers, members of the armed forces, or individuals with written permission from the Home Secretary may lawfully own a handgun.

1.211 The ban did not reduce the number of active shooters. Pistol clubs turned to pistol calibre carbines, which are more powerful and have higher capacity magazines. The UK has also reported an increase in homicide with pistols and in terms of crime:

“The ban on handguns is neither here nor there in the equation”.

1.212 It is reasonable to conclude that the banning of certain categories of firearm only affects those who possess and use them lawfully. Those who use them unlawfully are already outside the law.

(188 Inspector Joe Green, Arms Control Strategies, Debunking the Myths, New Zealand Police, 2008.

189 Library of Congress, Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Canada, at http://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/canada.php (accessed 9 April 2015).

190 Library of Congress, Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Great Britain, at http://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/greatbritain.php (accessed 9 April 2015).

191 Greenwood, J., The British Handgun Ban: logic, Politics and Effect, Paper to International Firearms safety Seminar, New Zealand, 2006.)

Recommendation 1

1.221 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend that the Commonwealth commission a study into the social, economic and environmental benefits of hunting across Australia, similar to the report that was released by the Victorian Government in 2013.

Recommendation 2

1.222 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend the Commonwealth establish a formal mechanism for industry and firearm user groups to be consulted on issues relating to firearms regulation.

Recommendation 3

1.223 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend the Commonwealth continue to pursue improvements in border control for detecting illegal imports of firearms and firearms parts.

Recommendation 4

1.224 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend the Commonwealth review its contribution to firearms regulation in the context of the Reform of the Federation White Paper.

Recommendation 5

1.225 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend State and territory governments investigate avenues to deregulate the firearm industry to ease the economic burden on governments, industry and legal firearm users.”

Everyone really knew all that, but now a Commonwealth Senate Committee has published it. Now is the time to stop wasting resources with impositions on the lawful community and instead transfer police resources into policing the criminal elements within our society.

Ron Owen President. Firearm Owners Association of Australia.

Apr
26

Submission To New State Government Corella Shooting Facilitiy

Justification Submission

Apr
12

Brief on the Senate,Legal and Constitutional Affairs Report on Australian Gun Laws.

 

Greens Agree That Gun Control Works. WHY?

Greens Agree That Gun Control Works. WHY?

 

Brief on the Senate, Legal and Constitutional Affairs Report on Australian Gun Laws.

The Senate

Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee

‘Ability of Australian law enforcement authorities to eliminate gun-related violence in the community”

April 2015

Commonwealth of Australia 2015

ISBN 978-1-76010-187-9

Two Reports  With two sets of recommendations,

One from the Chair and one from the Majority of Committee Members.

The first set of recommendations are

Recommendations From The Chair

Recommendation One

7.16 The committee recommends the Commonwealth government provide

funding to allow programs, such as the National Firearms Monitoring Program

and the National Firearm Theft Monitoring Program, and reports, such as those

in the Firearm Theft in Australia series, to continue on an ongoing basis.

Recommendation 2

7.17 The committee further recommends the Australian Institute of

Criminology conduct within three years a review of current data collection and

reporting arrangements, with a particular focus on:

the need for more accurate data on firearm thefts, the recovery of stolen

firearms and seizures of illegally imported firearms;

„ the quality and comparability of data provided to Commonwealth

agencies by state and territory police; and greater inter-agency co-operation with regards to data sharing.

Recommendation 3

7.25 The committee recommends that the National Firearms Agreement be

updated to implement nationally consistent regulation in the following areas:

firearms, firearm parts and firearm accessories; ammunition; and

the storage of firearms.

Recommendation 4

7.28 The committee recommends that the Commonwealth government,

together with state and territory governments, establish national standards for

the security of membership data held by gun clubs.

Recommendation 5

7.33 The committee recommends that an ongoing, Australia-wide gun

amnesty is implemented, with consideration given to ways in which this can be

done without limiting the ability of police to pursue investigative leads for serious

firearm-related crimes.

Recommendation 6

7.39 The committee recommends that all jurisdictions update their firearm

data holdings and ensure the data is transferred to the National Firearms

Interface.

Recommendation 7

7.44 The committee recommends that Australian governments investigate the

requirement for uniform regulations in all jurisdictions covering the

manufacture of 3D printed firearms and firearm parts.

Recommendation 8

7.48 The committee recommends that Australian governments continue to

monitor the risks posed by 3D manufacturing in relation to the manufacture of

firearms and consider further regulatory measures if the need arises.

Recommendation 9

7.51 The committee recommends that Australian governments consider

committing further funding and resourcing to assist in implementing the

preceding recommendations.

By Senator Penny Wright
Penny Green Tyrant small

Chair

Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig

Labor Senator for Queensland

(So you know who not to vote for)
—————————————

And then on page 95

Structure of the report

1.8 This report is the report of the majority Senators of the committee who

actually attended hearings and private meetings of the committee and is presented as a

majority-alternative to the Chair/Labor’s Report of the Legal and Constitutional

Affairs References Committee’s inquiry into the ability of Australian law enforcement

authorities to eliminate gun-related violence in the community.

1.9 It is endorsed by Senators from the Liberal Party, National Party and Liberal

Democratic Party, comprising a majority of those who attended the Committee’s

hearings (The Majority)

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald

Deputy Chair

Senator Linda Reynolds

Liberal Senator for Western Australia

Senator Bridget McKenzie

Nationals Senator for Victoria

Senator David Leyonhjelm

Liberal Democrats Senator for New South Wales.

So now you know who to Vote For.

Their findings were highly critical of the recommendations of the chair and found that there was a lack of evidence to support those recommendations, they issued a new set of Recommendations which as they are the majority replace the first set.

Response to Chair’s Recommendations

1.213 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry do not agree with Recommendation 1 and Recommendation 2 of the Chair’s report: the AIC should not receive additional funding for further research programs.

1.214 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry do not agree with Recommendation 3 of the Chair’s report: these matters should remain responsibility for State and Territory governments.

1.215 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry do not agree with Recommendation 4 of the Chair’s report: membership data held by gun clubs should remain a responsibility of State and Territory governments.

1.216 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry do not agree with Recommendation 7 of the Chair’s report: new regulations do not need to be introduced to cover the manufacture of 3D printed firearms and firearm parts at this point in time.

1.217 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry do not support Recommendation 9 of the Chair’s report and instead urge the government to consider funding initiatives that educate the wider public on safe use of firearms.

1.218 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry support Recommendation 5 of the Chair’s report, that an ongoing Australia-wide gun amnesty could potentially reduce the number of illicit firearms in the community, especially those firearms that were not given up as part of the 1996 buyback. It is, however, noted that criminals are unlikely give up any firearms.

1.219 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry support Recommendation 6 of the Chair’s report: jurisdictions have already agreed to update their firearm data holdings and transfer it to the National Firearms Interface.

1.220 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry support Recommendation 8 of the Chair’s report and agree that it is important to continue monitoring the risks posed by 3D manufacturing of firearms

Additional. By majority of Senators attending the inquiry Recommendations

Recommendation 1

1.221 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend that the Commonwealth commission a study into the social, economic and environmental benefits of hunting across Australia, similar to the report that was released by the Victorian Government in 2013.

Recommendation 2

1.222 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend the Commonwealth establish a formal mechanism for industry and firearm user groups to be consulted on issues relating to firearms regulation.

Recommendation 3

1.223 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend the Commonwealth continue to pursue improvements in border control for detecting illegal imports of firearms and firearms parts.

Recommendation 4

1.224 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend the Commonwealth review its contribution to firearms regulation in the context of the Reform of the Federation White Paper.

150

Recommendation 5

1.225 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry recommend State and territory governments investigate avenues to deregulate the firearm industry to ease the economic burden on governments, industry and legal firearm users.

These recommendations relied on evidence submitted such as this.

Page 104

1.42 A number of other submissions argued the opposite, that Australia’s firearm law reforms had made no difference to the firearm death rate. Among them, Mr Tom Vangelovski noted that:

While ignoring that the overall Australian homicide rates has remained statistically stable at its historical rate since 1915, gun control advocates have claimed that homicide by firearm has decreased (implying that being murdered by other means is somehow preferable).33

1.43 He also noted:

Another important comparison is Australia’s violent crime rate to that of individual American states (Figure 4). Vermont has some of the most liberal gun laws in the US, in that they virtually do not exist. Its residents are free to own and use whatever firearms they deem necessary, so long as they are not misused for criminal purposes. However, its violent crime rates are radically lower than Australia’s Its homicide rate is the same (at 1.3 per 100.000). Overall, you are 1.5 times more likely to be the victim of a home invasion, 3.5 times more likely to be robbed, 4 times more likely to be raped and 8 times more likely to be assaulted than in Vermont.

Another interesting comparison is Texas. While its gun laws are much more liberal than Australia’s, they are slightly more stringent than in Vermont. However, even in Texas you are 2.5 times less likely to be the victim of a violent crime than in Australia.34

1.44 Dr Samara McPhedran noted :

A useful demonstration of how prohibition can be expected to impact illicit firearms use is found in the United Kingdom (UK). In 1997, the UK banned private ownership of all cartridge ammunition handguns (whether semi-automatic or otherwise).

As such, the UK provides real-world data about the impact that a ‘prohibition policy’ can be expected to have on illegal firearms use. This information is particularly valuable because it is drawn from an applied setting, rather than being based on theory or statistical modelling.

Because all legal handgun ownership was banned, rather than just certain types of handgun, the UK policy also represents a “maximum policy impact” scenario – that is, the greatest effect that could be reasonably expected to arise from prohibition.

If the policy was successful, then it would be expected that the number of recorded crimes in the UK involving the use of handguns would decline sharply after 1997.

Handgun crimes rose sharply after total prohibition of legal ownership, reaching a peak in the early 2000s. The number of handgun crimes has consistently remained higher than it was at the time of handgun prohibition.

33 Tom Vangelovski, Submission 206.

34 Dr Samara McPhedran, Submission 88.

Even allowing for the possibility of a ‘lag’ between policy implementation and policy impact, it is obvious that the prohibition policy did not impact on illicit possession and use of handguns. According to the Home Office, from 2001/2002 to 2010/2011, handguns have consistently been the most common type of firearm used in crime.35

1.45 Mr William Woolmore, a former member of the Firearms Appeals Tribunal for the Victorian Justice Department, noted:

There has been a steady decline in gun related deaths in Australia since 1980 and, as expected, the rate of decline increased marginally following the new gun laws introduced in 1996 but this was due solely to a reduction in gun suicides. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the rate of gun murders in the few years after 1996 was actually higher than the equivalent period before 1996. While gun violence has been steadily declining there has been a substantial growth in total violence, with knife murders exceeding gun murders by up to 4 to 1 in some years (The latest AIC figure given in 2013 was 47 knife and 24 gun; worth comparing with 27 children murdered by one or both of their parents).36

1.46 Dr John Lott noted:

Prior to 1996, there was already a clear downward in firearm homicides, and this pattern continued after the buyback. It is hence difficult to link the decline to the buyback.

Again, as with suicides, both non-firearm and firearm homicides fell by similar amounts. In fact, the trend in non-firearms homicides shows a much larger decline between the pre- and post-buyback periods. This suggests that crime has been falling for other reasons.

Note that the change in homicides doesn’t follow the change in gun ownership – there is no increase in homicides as gun ownership gradually increased.37

35 Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2010/11: Supplementary Volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2010/11. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/116483/hosb0212.pdf

36 Mr William Woolmore, Submission 383.

37 Dr John Lott, Submission 394.

ADDITIONAL REMARKS

1.152 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry welcome the Chair’s comments that it was not the intention of the inquiry to target law-abiding firearms owners through this inquiry. The Committee heard evidence that lawful use of firearms has a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits to the Australian community which deserve to be promoted to counteract the myths about them which are perpetuated by some in the community.

1.153 One of the difficulties encountered by this inquiry has been the inability of the Committee to ascertain, with any degree of certainty, where the majority of the illicit guns originate and the size of the illegal gun market.

1.154 Notwithstanding that difficulty, the evidence provided by witnesses including law enforcement agencies, confirmed that most guns used in the commission of crime do not originate from licensed firearm owners.

1.155 No case was made to the committee for any increased regulation around gun ownership laws. In particular there was no evidence to show that:

banning semi-automatic handguns would have any material effect on the number of illegally held firearms in Australia;

stricter storage requirements and the use of electronic alarm systems for guns stored in homes would have any impact on gun-related violence; and

anomalies in federal, state and territory laws regarding the ownership, sale, storage and transit across state boundaries of legal firearms has any material impact on gun-related violence in the community.

1.156 It is also unfortunate that the joint report of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and NSW Premier and Cabinet on the Martin Place siege was referenced in the Chair’s report, since it was not mentioned by any witness or considered by the committee as part of this inquiry.

Misinformation not helpful

1.157 Despite the acknowledged deficiencies in the data available, the Chair of the inquiry has unfortunately made comments in the media about the size of the illegal gun market and its impact on crime in the community. Many of the claims made were not substantiated by the evidence to the inquiry, particularly regarding the source of illegal guns and legal gun owners in Australia.

140

1.158 Claims made in the media by the Chair, which The majority of Senators attending the inquiry believe are not substantiated by the evidence, include:”most illegal guns are not trafficked into Australia, but stolen from registered owners;151 and many illicit firearms are actually stolen from legitimate sources or taken from the grey market, including the gun used in the Sydney siege”.152

1.159 The hypothesis that illegal guns are mainly stolen from registered gun owners was not supported by the evidence presented to the Committee.

Data Deficiencies – The size and operation of the illicit firearms trade

1.160 The Committee heard evidence from a number of organisations in Australian jurisdictions about the size and distribution of the illegal firearms market within Australia. The lack of reliable data on the size of the illicit (or black) and grey market means that currently it is impossible to accurately assess the extent of the problem.

1.161 The Sporting Shooter’s Association of Australia asserted that the data presented by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) are unreliable because they:

have been supplied, unintentionally, with data, contaminated at best, and rubbish at worst, from South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria¡ skewing results and leading to a misunderstanding of the legal and illegal firearms landscape.153

1.162 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry do not accept evidence provided by the ACC which estimated the number of illegal firearms in the community at 260 000, including 250 000 long-arms and 10 000 handguns.154

1.163 This figure is taken from the Final Report of the National Investigation into the Illegal Firearms Market. These estimated 260 000 illicit firearms were supposedly based on a tracing analysis of 3186 weapons seized by law enforcement agencies.155

1.164 There are issues with this data that bring its reliability and validity into serious question. Firstly, this sample size was revealed to be much smaller than the ACC report first indicated based on 2119 firearms not 3186.156 In addition, it is unclear

——————————-

151 Media Release, Senator Penny Wright, Abbott’s mandatory sentencing plan won’t fix gun crime, 4 July 2014 at http://penny-wright.greensmps.org.au (accessed 9 April 2015).

152 Media Release, Senator Penny Wright, Mandatory minimums wrong way to address gun crime, 15 March 2015 at http://penny-wright.greensmps.org.au (accessed 9 April 2015).

153 Mr Geoffrey Jones, Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 10.

154 Mr Paul Jevtovic, Australian Crime Commission, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 34.

155 Media Release, The Hon. Jason Clare MP, Final Report of the National Investigation into the Illegal Firearms Market, 29 June 2012.

156 National Firearm Dealers Association Inc., Submission 85, p. 6.

141

———————————————-

whether a third of these firearms can be classed as illicit considering 33.5 per cent of the traces had an unknown method of diversion due to insufficient information.157

1.165 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry agree with Mr Rossi, President of the National Firearms Dealers Association:

“Policy and research ought to be underpinned by comprehensive, accurate, verifiable and transparent data. We believe that any policy based inquiry must be built on these foundations. In the case of firearm and shooter issues, this is not the case. That includes the issues that are the subject of this inquiry.”158

1.166 Accordingly it is not advisable for the Committee to make any recommendations based on flawed evidence. Further developments in policy should be focussed on further research in this area.

Data Deficiencies – Theft of firearms

1.167 The data on the number of stolen firearms provided by the AIC is dependent on the reliability of data provided to it by the state authorities, which cannot be relied upon for the following reasons:

Some jurisdictions did not provide data for all collection years or did not provide the full complement of data requested for individual years. For example, the data for stolen firearms excludes Western Australia for 2007-08;159

Victoria inadvertently recorded firearm parts as actual stolen firearms;160 and

The numbers were inverted by accident to read 41 300 handguns rather than 14 300 being licensed in South Australia.161

1.168 There was no evidence presented to the Committee which demonstrated a significant problem with stolen firearms being used for criminal activity:

Data provided by state and territory police indicated that firearms from a very small percentage of theft incidents (less than 5 per cent) reported in the four year period 2005-06 to 2008-09 were subsequently used to commit a criminal offence or found in the possession of a person charged with a non-firearm related criminal offence;162 and157

—————–

Media Release, The Hon. Jason Clare MP, Final Report of the National Investigation into the Illegal Firearms Market, 29 June 2012.

158

Mr Luca Scribani, President, National Firearm Dealers Association Inc., Committee Hansard, Tuesday 14 October 2014, p. 28.

159 Australian Institute of Criminology, Submission 76, p. 9.

160 Mr Geoffrey Jones, Sporting Shooter’s Association, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 13.

161 Sporting Shooter’s Association, Submission 58, p. 4.

162 Australian Institute of Criminology, Submission 76, p. 10.

142

———————————–

there are very few firearms that have been stolen and subsequently used in illegal acts or established as coming from a pathway from a registered firearm owner, through theft, into a recorded crime.163

1.169 During the public hearing, Dr John Lott gave evidence in relation to an AIC report which showed that one in every 2500 guns were stolen, a rate of four hundredths of one per cent. Of the 664 guns stolen as described in the report, three were used in the commission of a crime. Dr Lott argued that by any measure the costs of firearms regulation greatly outweighs any expected benefits.164

1.170 According to the ACC an average of 1545 firearms per annum was reported stolen during the period 2004-05 to 2008-9. The majority of reported stolen firearms are rifles, followed by shotguns. Handguns generally make up less than 10 per cent of stolen firearms.165

1.171 The committee heard that even though the current price of an illegal handgun was up to $15 000, there had been no rise in gun thefts from licensed gun owners.166

The Law Enforcement Response to Illegal Firearms

1.172 Some witnesses claimed that firearms reform in Australia over the last two decades had helped to significantly reduce the misuse of firearms with firearm related homicide in Australia down from 31.9 per cent in 1998 to 18.9 per cent in 2013.167

1.173 Others asserted that similar declines had been observed in countries that did not adopt Australia’s approach to gun control, including New Zealand.

1.174 Moreover, it is noted that knives continue to be the most commonly used weapon in homicides, not guns, with 42 per cent of all homicide incidents in 2010¡V11 involving knives/sharp instruments compared with 14 per cent involving the use of a firearm.168

1.175 Since 1996 there has been a national approach to the regulation of firearms, resulting from the 1996 National Firearms Agreement, the 1996 Firearms Buyback, the 2002 National Firearms Trafficking Policy Agreement and the National Handgun Control Agreement. This has led to a large degree of consistency between Australian

—————————————-

163 Mr Gary Bryant, General Manager, Firearm Safely and Training Council, Committee Hansard, 13 October 2014, p. 5.

164 Dr John Lott, Crime Prevention Resource Centre, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 3.

165 Australian Crime Commission, Submission 75, p. 4.

166 Det. Chief Supt Ken Finch, Organised Crime Directorate NSW Police, Committee Hansard, 13 October 2014, p. 45.

167 Ms Catherine Smith, Attorney General’s Department, Committee Hansard, 31 October 2014, p. 52.

168 Willow Bryant & Tracy Cussen, Homicide in Australia: 2010¡V11 to 2011¡V12: National Homicide Monitoring Program report, Australian Institute of Criminology, Monitoring Report 23, p. vi.

143

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jurisdictions in dealing with illegal firearms. In their submission the Attorney General’s Department stated that:

the adoption of the Agreements by the States and Territories represents a significant achievement in developing a consistent national approach to the regulation of firearms and firearm-related articles.169

1.176 The claim in the Attorney General’s Department submission that the lack of a uniform approach to gun control in Australia prior to 1996 was a significant factor in the diversion of firearms to the illicit market was not supported by any evidence.

1.177 There were, and still are, ample opportunities for firearms to be acquired for criminal purposes and no reason was offered to suggest how that the differences between states had ever been a major contributor to this.170

Importation of illegal firearms

1.181 The Committee found that it was not possible to accurately assess the source of the importation of illicit firearms and firearm parts into Australia. The Government is urged to focus on continuous improvement in border control processes to assist in detecting illegal imports of firearms and firearm parts.

1.182 The recent Auditor General’s Report into the Screening of International Mail showed that screening processes may require some improvements. The Auditor General stated that:

The ANAO’s analysis of data from the agency’s sampling program indicated that around only 13 per cent of prohibited imports arriving in international mail were seized in 2012-13. Customs advised that it now considers the implementation of its sampling program was flawed, raising questions about the integrity of its sampling data.172

1.183 The Committee heard evidence from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service about its increased focus on screening international mail, air cargo and sea cargo to detect illegal imports of firearms.173

1.184 The NSW Police agreed that illegal imports contribute to the presence of firearms in the community:

The fight against illegal gun crime must start at the nation’s borders. The day to day experience of front line police in NSW suggests that the illegal importation of firearms, especially modern handguns and assault rifles, is a key driver of gun crime in NSW

1.178 Mr Tim Bannister, CEO of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, argued that the focus of the NFA was flawed:

“The concept of government registries and manually generated permits to acquire and the like is nothing more than a holdover from a time before electronic data retention, and it is not only completely ineffective but incredibly expensive to maintain. However, here in Australian the vast majority of state and federal law enforcement resources and strategies are now, and have been for the past 18 years, mistakenly focused on spending massive amounts of their time and efforts on monitoring and restricting the activities of just one sector of our society, the licensed firearms owners, which every statistic and every example show are responsible for almost no gun related violence.”

1.179 The 3D printers

1.185 Evidence was given that firearms and/or parts can be produced by a reasonably proficient handyman in his home workshop. While 3D printers may be of assistance in carrying out this task they were by no means integral to the illegal manufacture of firearms.

1.186 Evidence received by the committee indicated that Commonwealth, State and Territory laws relating to the import and manufacture of firearms or firearm parts, including by 3D printers, was sufficient to enable prosecution of any offence.

1.187 The majority of Senators attending the inquiry agrees that State and Territory governments should continue to regulate firearms but acknowledges that data sharing between jurisdictions would contribute to greater effectiveness.

Banning semi-automatic handguns

1.188 No evidence was received that banning semi-automatic handguns would have a material effect on the number of illegally held firearms in Australia or the level of gun violence. The relatively small number of handguns stolen each year, of which only a portion are semi-automatics, suggests a complete ban would make no difference to gun violence. Evidence was received that a ban on semi-automatic handguns would have a significant effect on sporting shooters including Olympic and Commonwealth Games participants.

1.189 Victoria and NSW police did not seek further regulation but wanted more resources for compliance activities. Victoria Police evidence revealed that the majority of semi-automatic handguns seized are from criminals who are prohibited from owning. It was not clear that a ban on semi-automatic handguns would diminish their ability to obtain such handguns.176

Stricter storage requirements

1.190 There was no credible evidence provided to support the conclusion that the use of electronic alarms on residential gun safes would materially enhance the security of stored firearms.177

The Economic, Environmental and Social Benefits of Legal Firearm Use

1.191 The committee heard from several witnesses and received written submissions describing the wide range of benefits to the Australian community of the lawful use of firearms. Responsible recreational shooting and hunting is a culturally important activity and legitimate industry that creates jobs and injects significant funds into the economy. Farmers use firearms as a ‘tool’ of their trade for the control of pests who wreak havoc on the environment and the humane treatment of stock.

1.192 The committee did not seek to address the economics of a failure to control illicit firearms or the financial and resource costs involved in monitoring and enforcing firearms laws and their impact on legal firearms owners.

1.193 The committee heard that there is no direct mechanism for shooting groups and the firearms industry to be consulted since the abolition of the Commonwealth firearms advisory committee.

Hunting

1.194 Game hunting provides significant social and cultural benefits to our nation. An independent study by the University of Queensland demonstrates that the benefit of recreational hunting to the economy is at least $1 billion. The number of recreational hunters in Australia was calculated to be at least 200 000, but more likely 300 000.     178

1.195 Evidence received from the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia conservatively estimates the contributions of hunting, pest control activities, farming and the shooting sports to be between $1.25 and $1.5 billion per annum.179

1.196 The Victorian Government estimates that the total economic impact of game and pest animal hunting by game licence holders in 2013 was worth $439 million to

the economy and that 60 per cent of hunting expenditure occurs in regional Victoria.180

Competitive Shooting

1.197 In its submission Field and Game Australia Inc. stated that:

Participating in target shooting sports and hunting are increasing in Australia with participants coming from a wide variety of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.181

1.198 Competitive shooting is a legitimate use of firearms and Australian shooters compete at Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth and world championship level. The sport requires intense training and is already heavily regulated. The Committee heard from Shooting Australia that those wishing to compete in this legitimate sport must already undergo lengthy probationary periods.182

1.199 The Committee also heard that recreational shooting provides benefits for a wide variety of people including those with a disability or unable to participate in contact sports. In some disciplines women can compete on equal terms with men and the old with the young. Disabled shooters are provided with similar opportunities as their able-bodied counterparts, and compete at local, state, national and international levels. Additionally young Australian’s have established a network of young shooters, establishing a community across the country that enjoys this legitimate use of firearms.

Agricultural/Environmental Uses

1.200 The Committee heard that firearms are a very important tool in agriculture as they are used for a variety of purposes such as humanely putting down an injured animal and controlling feral pests. Creating further regulation on firearm use would be an unnecessary financial and practical burden on farmers, as described by the National Farmer’s Federation:

“…there are set-up costs with access to firearms and then ongoing maintenance. Most farm businesses in Australia are small businesses. Many of them operate in a low cash environment. Particularly when things are tighter, any additional cost has an impact on the ability of the farm business to keep going. So any additional cost is a serious concern to us and our members…” 183

1.201 Australian farmers are one of our country’s best protectors of the natural environment. Farmers in various agricultural and horticultural industries take it upon themselves to remove feral, pest species of animals including foxes, cats, wild pigs,

wild dogs, rabbits and others. The Committee heard that the cost of pest animals to agriculture is in excess of $750 million.184

1.202 Destroying these nuisance animals with firearms is far more humane than baiting or poisoning which can often take a toll on native species:

…a firearm is a necessary adjunct to rural occupations in respect of dealing with animals humanely and efficiently and we know that we cannot keep dropping increasing thousands of tonnes of poison into the environment trying to control feral animals when in fact the firearm is largely under used and under utilised.185

1.203 As well as protecting our native species from predators and competition for food from introduced species, farmers are able to enjoy higher yields in both livestock and horticultural settings with the assistance of firearms.

International Comparisons

1.204 At an international level, there is no consensus on whether there exists a relationship between the level of firearm availability and firearm-related violence. Mr David Hawker pointed out that New Zealand declined the invitation to join with Australia in adopting firearms registration in 1996. Canada has since abandoned longarm registration, concluding it was not worth the cost. He agreed that neither country had seen a subsequent increase in gun related violence and stated ‘we are going to considerable expense for questionable results’.186

1.205 Police witnesses were unable to account for the disparity between their views on gun ownership and community safety and the record of Switzerland and Israel that have extremely high gun ownership, but low levels of gun-related crime.

New Zealand

1.206 In 1983, New Zealand moved away from the requirement to register long-arms and focus available resources upon the person making an application for a firearm licence by ensuring, as far as possible, that only fit and proper people had access to firearms. The licensing system includes background and reference checks, as well as safety training and a written test.

1.207 There are estimated to be about 1.1 million firearms in New Zealand—about one for every four people. The rate of deaths involving firearms has decreased in the past twenty years, including those resulting from assault, suicide, and accidents.187

148

1.208 Additional evidence provided to the Committee showed that violent offending with firearms remained stable in New Zealand at about 1.3 per cent of all violent offending from 1985 – 2005.

188

Canada

1.209 Canada has followed New Zealand’s example and focuses more on the person making an application for a licence. Canada decreased the regulatory requirements for long arms and found no subsequent increase in gun related violence. Applicants are required to pass safety tests before being eligible for a firearms license. Applicants are also subject to background checks which take into account criminal, mental health, addiction, and domestic violence records. According to 2010 data, over the past thirty years firearm-related homicides have continued to decline.189

United Kingdom

1.210 The United Kingdom has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. In 1997 the UK banned all handguns. Only police officers, members of the armed forces, or individuals with written permission from the Home Secretary may lawfully own a handgun.190

1.211 The ban did not reduce the number of active shooters. Pistol clubs turned to pistol calibre carbines, which are more powerful and have higher capacity magazines. The UK has also reported an increase in homicide with pistols and in terms of crime: ‘the ban on handguns is neither here nor there in the equation’.191

1.212 It is reasonable to conclude that the banning of certain categories of firearm only affects those who possess and use them lawfully. Those who use them unlawfully are already outside the law.

Please pass this about everywhere.  Ron Owen

Feb
20

Sponsors Wanted Queenland Big Boar Hunting Championship 2015 Gympie.

Firearm Owners Association of Australia
PO Box 872, Gympie Qld 4570
Phone 07 54 825070
Fax (07) 54824718
Email:- b3969976@spiderweb.com.au
or owenguns@spiderweb.com.au
10960450_1533826073547151_3183541207230136189_o
Click on the image to see the 4 minute Video

Re. Wanted Sponsors For The
Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships GYMPIE 2015.
Dear Sirs.

Most Australians have a connection with rural production, or are involved with industries that are either dependent, or associated with rural Australia. Many city Australians are related to, or are second generation rural Australians.
Due to these ties to the ‘land’ the benefits and problems of the land are of paramount importance to them and Australians should be concerned that last year (2014) government sources put the Australian Feral Pig population at approx 25 million.

We Have A Plague of Pigs.
Feral pigs have a reproductive rate that is closer to rabbits than other large herbivores Females can breed from seven months of age and have one, or two litters per year of four to six piglets, this easily doubles their population every succeeding year. So 50 million in 2015. The damage they cause to Australia economy is huge and realistically any statistical calculations could not cover the subject thoroughly. Combine that with the damage they do to our Australian environment/wildlife etc, the Greens should pay a bounty to Feral Pig Hunters. https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/threats/pig.html

Foot & Mouth Could Starve Australia.
The disease risk posed by feral pigs is regarded by some as a “ticking time bomb” for Australia if a serious exotic disease gains access to the wide-ranging pig population.
The threat of an exotic disease outbreak such as Foot and Mouth Disease, to just name one, would prove terminal to much of Australia agricultural products. It is extremely important for thinking Australians to encourage the demise of Feral Pigs.

Two Great Causes.
The Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships 2015 has two main objectives;
One, to encourage the removal of as many feral pigs as possible from our environment,
Two, to raise as much money as possible for the ‘Wandering Warriors’ (SAS Queensland Association) to aid veterans and their families.
(Wandering Warrior is a charity initiative of the Queensland Branch of the Australian SAS Association. Its members are veterans of Australia’s military conflicts over the past 50 years. They volunteer their time, energy and resources to conduct events which raise funds for veteran and family focussed charities. Wandering Warriors has no paid positions. With the support of corporate Australia and the Australian community, the Wandering Warriors aim to raise badly needed funds for Wounded Veterans, and their families.)

The Third Objective.
There is a third objective, that is to improve communications between hunters, political leaders, media, business people and the community in general, improving the image and opening more public and private land to hunters.
If current pledges continue to be contributed, the $30,000 dollar value of prizes will be easily surpassed. This will attract at least 500 to 600 plus nominations from hunters statewide. All of them would like to see your name in the sponsors list for these two very worthy causes that are combined in this same event.
Please accept our invitation to attend and award your prizes at the culmination, weigh in, presentation on the 12th July 2015. The Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships 2015 is a three-day hunt, with Bow, Firearm or Dogs for feral pigs, anywhere in our State .
The list of donated Prizes from Sponsors will be soon viewable on http://www.foaa.com.au/queensland-big-boar-hunting-championships/sponsors-please-support-these-worthy-sponsors/
At the 2014 Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships, last October, 342 Competitors disposed of 329 Feral pigs, (producing a body or a snout) and raised a total of $27,000 for charitable causes. Approximately, 450 people were present during the weigh- in 350 people stayed to watch the $20,000 prize giving. Prizes were awarded for heaviest Boar, Sow, Most number of pigs, Largest Tusk, Largest Pigs Ear, Longest Pig Tail.
We had two dedicated photographers for the Weigh In, who kindly donated their photos and skills free of charge Jason Harelle and Jim Sweeny. Jim Sweeny made a nice comment on Facebook.
What A Great Day , Ossie Family’s Enjoyed, The Best Event I Have Ever Been To, The First Time I Saw Wild Pigs, They Reminded Me Of Oversized Rats With Their Black Hair , Certainly Not The Domestic Breed, The Hunters Were Good Young Knock About Aussies Risking Their Lives To Rid The Land Of Vermin, I Am Very Impressed With The Hunters Who Are Australia’s ‘Salt Of The Earth’, I Will Be At Next Year Event, As This Is Too Good To Miss”.

Advertising
On Sunday the 12th July 2015 the Long Lunch will again feature a pig on a spit. Last year we received , four half page sponsorship promotion giving positive response from the Gympie Times newspaper. We received sponsorship/promotion by the Yaffa Publications magazines ‘Sporting Shooter’ and ‘Bacon Busters’, and in 2015 they have been invited to attend on the day. Also we received advertising from ‘Wild Boar Australia’ and ‘Guns and Game’ magazine We will be seeking sponsorship/promotion from National TV and they and local media will  be invited to attend on the Sunday 12th weigh-in day. Last year, all the positive publicity was marvellous for the hunting sports in Australia. The facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/QueenslandBigBoarHuntingChampionshipsGympie
has had thousands of visitors, the 4 minute Video has in its different location had over 5000 viewing’s.
If you would like to contribute as a sponsor, or help in anyway please phone, or email Ron on the numbers above.

Media Mileage From Big Boar Competition 2014.
Newspaper and Radio Interviews.
Here are just some of the articles from our local Newspaper and ABC radio we also made Channel7 in Brisbane and other radio interviews were broadcasted. Gympie Times said, that when the issue was put onto its website it had the most comments on any subject and 97 % were in favour of “The Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships” even the Noosa Greens candidate supported recreational hunting as the most humane method of disposing of these Feral pests.

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/pig-hunt-success-despite-the-squeals-of-opposition/2433360/
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/feral-pigs-gympie-plague-proportions/2273039/
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/feral-hicks-attacked/2427324/
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/fundaiser-ron-relishes-controversy-of-his-boar-hun/2431319/
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/animal-lib-picks-on-wrong-people/2416076/
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-29/pig-hunting-championships/5850862
and an old Editorial showing the necessity for the hunt in Gympie.
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/feral-pigs-too-close-to-home-gympie-opinion/1650905/

Farmers, Boilermakers, Shopkeepers, Dentists, Lawyers, people from varied walks of life  got together to achieve something that was an all round good thing for all concerned, except the feral pigs.
Beneficiaries, were the competitors who received great prizes, over $20,000. worth, agriculture land holders who had 329 pigs removed from the breeding cycle, and the Wandering Warriors who are a 100 % voluntary organisation that raises money for Veterans and their families. Over $27000 was raised from all aspects of the event and distributed to the beneficiaries. No grants, no assistance from government, pure voluntary effort pays off.
Yours faithfully

Ron Owen.
President.
Phone 07 54 825070

Ph: (07) 5482 4099

Fax (07) 54824718

Email:- b3969976@spiderweb.com.au

Jan
18

Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships 2015 Gympie.

10960450_1533826073547151_3183541207230136189_o

Local Wild Pigs Enjoying the months pleasure since the last Big Boar Competition.

Local Wild Pigs Enjoying the months pleasure since the last Big Boar Competition.

Jan
06

Have Your Say BEFORE 23 Jan 2015 on the Corella Range Complex

Do you want to shoot on a 1000m range in Gympie?  Put your submission in today.

Do you want to shoot on a 1000m range in Gympie? Put your submission in today.

Have Your Say BEFORE 23 Jan 2015  on the Corella Range Complex.
Gympie Regional Council has endorsed the draft Curra State Forest Shooting Facility study for public display from 15 December 2014 to 23 January 2015.
GET YOUR SUBMISSION IN BEFORE 23 JAN 2015.  BEFORE ITs TOO LATE.
For Ideas, Cut and Paste from the CRCA (Cooloola Range Complex Association Inc.)
Submission On Internet CRCA Ross Planning

If you don't act to retain your rights, do we deserve any advantages from what our brothers in arms win for us?

If you don’t act to retain your rights, do we deserve any advantages from what our brothers in arms win for us?

For Ideas, Cut and Paste from the CRCA (Cooloola Range Complex Association Inc.)

Submission On Internet CRCA Ross Planning

Gympie Regional Council’s Acting Mayor Cr. Tony Perrett says,

The draft study contains several options and highlights associated costs to meet the long term needs of the region’s shooting clubs. ‘This study provides the foundation of an important blue print for the region’s shooting sports,’ Cr Perret added.

Earlier this year the Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing granted Council in-principle support for a consolidated shooting facility in Curra (real name CORELLA) State Forest north of Gympie. The purpose of this study was to satisfy the conditions of the Minister’s support, as well as assisting Council to understand the current situation before any decisions are made. This included determining the feasibility of locating a facility of this nature within the State forest and identifying the most suitable location, having regard to current use, the interests of all stakeholders and any site constraints.

Cr Perrett acknowledged, ‘it is important Council now seek feedback from the wider community in order to fully understand the views on each of the possible options and we welcome the views of all interested parties.’

Council invites you to review the findings and have your say. The draft study can be viewed at Have your say or in hardcopy at Council’s Mary Street Office – 242 Mary Street, Gympie and the Planning and Development Office – 29 Channon Street, Gympie.

To have your say, please lodge a submission in writing to the following:

Any feedback received during this period will inform the preparation of a final report for Council’s consideration early in 2015.

For further information please contact Council on 1300 307 800 or email planningprojects@gympie.qld.gov.au.

Dec
14

Anti PTA Queensland Parliamentary E-Petition.

Anti PTA Queensland Parliamentary  E-Petition.

YOUR URGENT ATTENTION TO PARLIAMENTRY PETITION REQUIRED. THIS CONCERNS US ALL
Anti PTA Petition TINY

https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/apps/Epetitions/CurrentEPetition.aspx?PetNum=2339&lIndex=-1
Now. Is the Time To Turn Back Un In-Formed Gun Laws. One Law At A Time.
Smart animals, those that are the meals for predators, often run in herds knowing well that there is safety in numbers. Fish school to ensure survival of the species, even birds will flock together to avoid predation…. There is safety in numbers, there is political power in numbers but this is something firearm owners, to a large extent to their peril have ignored. Maybe they have never felt like the prey, the hunted. I know I have felt that way, I have felt that we shooter and hunters have been the food source for the political bloodsucking vampires of the Green Anti Gun movement. Even though I know their numbers are near extinction. I also know that our numbers are massive and growing every day. The politicians, are slowly waking up to the fact that we are the biggest lobby group in the country.
https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/apps/Epetitions/CurrentEPetition.aspx?PetNum=2339&lIndex=-1

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Print This out and take it to your local Guns Shop and Club and ask them to sign and display it, give a copy to every customer. Some of them will be waiting and growling , so they can now do something positive.

Print This out and take it to your local Guns Shop and Club and ask them to sign and display it, give a copy to every customer. Some of them will be waiting and growling , so they can now do something positive.

Print This out and take it to your local Guns Shop and Club and ask them to sign and display it, give a copy to every customer. Some of them will be waiting and growling , so they can now do something positive.

END PTA’s  NOW.
We have all had immense problems caused by Permits to Acquire. Time in waiting, Lost in the post, mistakes on the form make further delays. Just knowing that they are duplication of paper work that registration and licences are all happening, without the endless forms.
Knowing that you pay $34 dollars and it cost the government $64 . Just to receipt and securely bank that $34. Before they even process the paper work. Now is the time to stand together and shout with one voice, regardless of the type of firearm/s you own, we want an end to the Permit to Acquire system when we already have a lawful excuse, we already have a licence in that category. We have already waited the 28 days, we have already satisfied the reasons for the firearm.
Please Sign this Parliamentary Petition straight way and please pass it on to all your friends. Pass it on to your local shooting club, pass it on to your local Gun shop, we want millions on this one. Member of Parliament David Gibson has bravely put this petition up, he has worked hard on it and will speak for it when it comes up in parliament. We need signatures, this has the power to bring this huge wrong imposition to everyone’s attention. Now is your chance to do a little something, Spread it about please. ron

https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/apps/Epetitions/CurrentEPetition.aspx?PetNum=2339&lIndex=-1

This Is the Wording on the Petition.
Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House that since 1997 there has been a duplicate imposition of fees, application forms and time wasted by licensed shooters, licensed firearm dealers and government employees. The Weapons Act 1990 already prescribes licence fees, 28 day waiting period and investigations on genuine need for all categories of firearms. Section 35(1)(c) states a person may acquire a weapon, if the person acquires the weapon under other lawful authority (Licence 49A), justification or excuse. This section has been used by licensed dealers to register and swap firearms for warranty since 1997, to register firearms to licenced shooters in the successful 2013 amnesty and to register firearms that are exchanged for similar firearms of the same category. Currently, the Queensland Police Service imposes a duplicate provision under the Weapons Act 1990 for people who have not yet received a licence in the correct category under section 35(1)(b) which requires a Permit to Acquire (PTA). Weapons dealers are required to register the firearms to the person either under section 35(1)(b) or (c) then report this to the Weapons Licensing Branch within 14 days. Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to support the Government’s commitment to reduce red tape by immediately instructing the Queensland Police to cease the duplication of an unnecessary imposition of the PTA system and allow licensed shooters to acquire the firearms in the category they are licensed for.
————————

Please Make a difference to our plight, help lesson the impositions that we firearm owners suffer under. Share this bulletin and sign the petition today.
https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/apps/Epetitions/CurrentEPetition.aspx?PetNum=2339&lIndex=-1

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Dec
14

The Newgreen Report By Chief Inspector Lex Newgreen, Victorian Police

AAAThey look Cool
The Newgreen Report By Chief Inspector Lex Newgreen,
Victorian Police.
End Firearm Registration. Chief Inspector Newgreen
Herald-Sun 2 November 1990.
 COMPULSORY Registration of all Firearms should be Abolished,
a former firearms registrar said yesterday. Chief Inspector Lex Newgreen said it was the owners who should be registered, not their guns. Chief Inspector Newgreen came under intense pressure three years ago when he told the State Government in a report that registering forearms did not prevent or control criminal misuse of guns. Nor did it discourage the irresponsible use of firearms, he said in the report, which had been kept under wraps until The Herald-Sun obtained a copy under the Freedom of Information Act. Shortly after presenting his report to the Government, the man, the man in charge of Victoria’s firearms control suffered an angina attack and was transferred to other duties. Yesterday, Chief Inspector Newgreen stood by his advice to the Government. “My report was not well received because it was contrary to the Government’s policy,” he said. In the report, he described the registration of all firearms as a waste of public money and time. “Probably, and with the best of intentions, it may have been thought that if it were known what firearms each individual owned, some form of control may be exercised. “… and those who were guilty of criminal mis-use could be readily identified. “This is a fallacy, and has been proven not to be the case.” “In my view (firearms registration) does not repress or control the criminal mis-use of, or irresponsible use of, firearms,” he said. Asked yesterday if he regretted taking such a strong stand, Chief Inspector Newgreen said: “How can you ever regret speaking the truth? I told the Government what I believed to be true and correct.”

The NEWGREEN REPORT.
VICTORIA POLICE
Firearms Registry,
317 Flinders Lane Melbourne, 3000.
26th February 1987
METROPOLITAN, CO-ORDINATOR.
SUBJECT: FIREARMS REGISTRATION SYSTEM C.R.B. File: 39-1-1385/84.

INTRODUCTION 1
.

 

The NEWGREEN REPORT.

VICTORIA POLICE

Firearms Registry,

317 Flinders Lane

Melbourne, 3000.

26th February 1987

METROPOLITAN,

CO-ORDINATOR.

SUBJECT: FIREARMS REGISTRATION SYSTEM

C.R.B. File: 39-1-1385/84.

INTRODUCTION

1. In February 1984, legislative changes came into effect which

required all firearms owners in the State of Victoria to register the

firearms held in their possession, unless exempted from that

requirement by Section 46(4) of the Firearms Act.

2. To implement and complete the process, because of licence

“rollover”, a time span of three years was required – (1.2.84 to

31.1.87.) whereby

(a) On the renewal of a shooter’s licence between the above dates

the firearms would be registered ;

(b) Previously unregistered firearms sold off, and distributed

into the community would be registered ; and

(c) Changes of ownership between shooters and dealers would be

subject to registration update (disposal/acquisition).

3. By the 31st January, 1987, in theory, all firearms that required

registration in the State of Victoria should be registered.

REASONS FOR REGISTRATION

4. Before reporting on the current status of registration within this

State, it is important to establish :

(a) The circumstances under which registration was introduced

and

(b) What were its objectives and aims.

5. Obviously, unless the objective of the exercise is determined the

results have little or no meaning. To look at this exercise in a

logical and realistic way, it is of paramount importance that we

establish where we are, and in which direction we wish to go. We must

also consider as to whether or not the programme should continue as it

is, be modified, or be abolished.

6. In 1979, Delegates of the Australian Police Federation resolved

that the spread of firearms within the community should be contained,

and to achieve its aims, it was resolved :-

(a) That no person should be permitted to have more than three

firearms, without having to “show cause” as to why he should have

more ; and

(b) All firearms should be registered, and records computerized to

assist in effective control and combatting crime.

It was further agreed that the respective “Associations” lobby their

State Government opposition parties to adopt, and put into effect those

resolutions.

7. It would appear that the Victorian Labour Party not only adopted

those resolutions, but certain elements within the party were of the

view that firearms ownership be reduced to one, before having to show

cause.

8. The Firearms Traders Association, several large Firearms Companies,

the Shooting Sports Council, and others within the “Shooting

Fraternity” then actively lobbied against the opposition (then Labour

Party), as they considered the proposal was in infringement of their

rights.

9. In any event, registration went ahead, but, not in the proposed

form. All firearms held by shooters were to be registered with no

restriction as to the number of firearms owned.

COMMENT

10. It seems that the original aims and objectives were side-stepped,

and I find it difficult to reconcile as to what was sought to be

achieved by the current concept of “registration”. It seems just to be

an elaborate system of arithmetic with no tangible aim. Probably, and

with the best of intentions, it may have been thought, that if it were

known what firearms each individual in Victoria owned, some form of

control may be exercised, and those who were guilty of criminal misuse

could be readily identified. This is a fallacy, and has been proven

not to be the case.

IMPLEMENTATION OF REGISTRATION

11. From the beginning of the Registration programme, problems

developed, primarily brought about by a huge influx of work, without

sufficient staff to cope with the demand. This was further compounded

by the failure to act quickly to rectify a situation that was reported

on, and should have been forseen. Continual embarrassment was caused,

and the Registry and Government were subject to much criticism.

12. It is charitab1e to say, that from the outset, the expedient

recording of data, and issue of certificates was a disaster. This to a

very large extent has now been overcome, but many difficulties still

beset us. Primarily, caused by the processes used and an outmoded and

absolutely unsatisfactory computer programme.

13. Early in 1986, discussions were held with representatives of the

Government Computing Service, as to the feasibility of completely

restructuring our computer programme with a view to accommodating the

Registry’s needs. This would have been a time consuming and expensive

task. In view of the fact that Registry records were to go “on line”

in the “not too distant future” the proposal was not further

developed.

14. The Computer Systems Division is presently investigating the

Registry’s computer needs, and our methods and workflow practises are

being examined to establish a computerized integrated system.

15. The number of shooter’s licences issued fluctuate on a monthly

basis. this being brought about by the issue of new licenses, and the

expiry of existing licenses which are not renewed. Over a six month

period between August of 1986 and the end of January 1987, the average

number of shooters’ licences held in the State was 264,037.

16. An examination of registration applications tends to indicate that

each licensed shooter on average holds approximately 2.8 firearms.

This appears to be consistent with projections in other States, and

when one considers the fact that many shooters may have a shotgun, and

either a .22 calibre or high powered rifle, together with an air rifle,

the forecast is probably reasonably accurate. Furthermore, some

licensed shooters may not have any firearms, and others have well in

excess of three, and in some cases hundreds.

17. Given these statistics one can assume that at an absolute

minimum, in the State of Victoria, there is in the order of 739,303

longarms dispersed within the community.

AVERAGE

DATE GUNS HELD GUNS REGISTERED %

17. 7.86. 386,153 52.2

1. 8.86. 391,773 52.9

2. 9.86. 396,553 53.6

2.10.86. 406,820 55.0

5.11.86 739,303 414,832 56.1

3.12.86 420,856 56.9

6. 1.87. 424,662 57.4

12. 2.87. 435,337 58.9

The above mentioned data indicates that a small percentage increase in

registration, and at the conclusion of the programme only 58.9% of

Victorians had registered firearms.

Average number of licensed

shooters approximately 264,037

Guns registered on Master

File as at 12.2.87. 435,337

Shooter’s Licences x 2.8

= estimated guns in community 739,303

Number of guns registered 435,337 58.9%

Number of guns unregistered 303 ,966 41.1%

18. One can therefore conclude that 41.1% of firearms held in the

community are not being registered. Public disobedience or ignorance

of the law is by no means a small percentage. To absolutely establish

as to who is not registering firearms is not possible, as all licensed

shooters are not the owners of firearms, and some shooters may only

register some of the guns held in their possession, others may not

register guns at all.

PROCESSING PROBLEMS

19. Putting aside public resistance, one of the worst problems

encountered is the ability to store accurate data which can be readily

retrieved. The forms used for the purpose of registration are designed

in such a way that with the exception of a name, in some cases the

address, and the shooter’s licence number, none of the information

provided by the gun owner can be readily checked. In many cases, it

has been established that what purports to be firearm serial numbers

are in fact model numbers. Therefore, the Registry is not in a

position to identify what particular firearm belongs to the licensee.

We can say that a certain person owns a particular model of firearm,

but, the actual firearm itself cannot be identified. Without

physically inspecting the firearm, and cross checking against the

registration form, I doubt if the problem could be overcome. In any

case, it is at times very hard to distinguish between a serial number

and a model number when one considers the types of guns available. If

the acquirer does not remit the Disposal Notice, records show, and will

continue to show the firearms as still being registered in the Vendor’s

name, unless something occurs to cause a check to be made. There are

many thousands of entries which indicate a large number of licensees

have possessed the same firearm.

20. Other considerations to be taken into present system are :-

(a) There is no way of ensuring that firearms purchased

interstate are being registered ;

(b) There is no way to ensure that firearms disposed of

interstate are deleted from records, if indeed they were

registered in the first place ;

(c) It cannot be established if a licence holder has registered

all firearms in his possession ;

(d) Firearms can be registered under a number of licences. The

programme does not facilitate that type of check. Therefore,

duplication can, and does occur ;

(e) If a person has registered firearms in his name and permits

his shooters licence to expire, and then takes out another

shooter’s licence, he is not against required to register his

firearm. Section 22(2F) of the Act cannot be complied with as

the computer programme is only designed to accept data from a

licensee. Forms that do not show a shooter’s licence number will

be rejected. Many firearms are shown to be still registered

under expired licences.

21. Applicants omit to place the required information on application

forms, or endorse incorrect information, for example :

(a) In correct shooter’s licence details ;

(b) They have no shooter’s licence, therefore, should not have

firearms in their possession ;

(c) Endeavour to register firearms on a Junior Permit ;

(d) Still hold “Farm Permits” ;

(e) Have deficient categories on shooter’s licence. “A” “B”

shooters wanting to register “C” Class firearms ;

(f) Fail to forward the appropriate fee, which in many cases

causes time consuming and very expensive follow-up action to

obtain $1.00.

(g) overpay the required fee, therefore, monies must be paid

into the Suspense Account, and re-imbursement made ;

(h) Incorrect spelling or illegible writing ;

(i) Attempting to register firearms on an annual basis ;

(j) Incorrect calibres.

22. The examples cited are to list, but a few of the problems

encountered, which are extremely time consuming and place additional

demands on the staff.

REGISTRATION FEES

23. It is estimated that each gun costs approximately $4.00 to go

through the registration process, and that cost would almost double

dependent upon the action taken to rectify the error. If external

inquiries are needed utilizing the services of local Police, such costs

could rise by up to 1000% once again to retrieve a dollar. By law one

is placed in a “catch 22” situation. You know the exercise is not cost

effective, but, registration cannot be effected unless the fee required

by law is paid.

COMMENT

24. The registration programme drastically needs a complete overhaul

and update. Both the process and computer programme should be

re-evaluated. However, to implement the required changes is costly,

and should not be attempted until such time as an indication or

response is given by the Government, as to whether or not

“Registration” will be abolished or continued.

CONCLUSION

25. Having worked with registration since the latter stage of 1984, I

have known full well that a report on firearms registration would be

required at the conclusion of the current programme, and it has not

been taken lightly. Previously experience in New Zealand and South

Australia, and now indeed in the State of Victoria, indicates that

firearms registration in the way in which it is implemented is costly,

ineffective, and achieves little. In my view, does it not repress or

control the criminal misuse of, or irresponsible use of firearms?

26. IF the people of Victoria or the Government require registration

to continue in an effective way, which will be used to control and

contain firearms ownership, I would suggest steps should be taken to :-

(a) Re-assess their aims and objectives, and make a conscious

decision as to whether the registration process will meet those

aims : if not seek alternatives ;

(b) IF the answer is affirmative, repressive always would have to

be enacted on the “show cause” basis, or a labour intensive

system adopted which would rely heavily upon Police time and

resources to make registration more effective, and to provide

some degree of accuracy.

27. If one is to achieve a proper balance, I am of the opinion that

the Firearms Act should –

(a) Repress the criminal and irresponsible use of firearms ;

(b) Look after the public interest ; and

(c) Not place harsh restrictions on responsible and mature

sports shooters, whilst at the same time educating the public,

particularly Juniors, in the safe use and handling of firearms.

I do not believe registration is the answer to the problem.

RECOMMENDATION

28. I would therefore recommend that Firearms Registration be

forthwith abolished, and together with the Firearms Consultative

Committee a far reaching, effective, and proper system of education be

introduced, as a pre-requisite to the obtaining of a shooter’s

licence.

29. In conjunction with education, the penalties for those who breach

the law should be heavily increased.

30. The Governmental Review Committee is currently undertaking an

examination of the “ACT”, and the Education and Training Sub-Committee

of the Firearms Consultative Committee is examining the best means of

achieving firearms education.

31. If my proposal is considered a proper and viable alternative, I

believe it could be implemented in a reasonable time span, would be

less costly, and achieve far more in every way, than the concept of

registration. Whatsmore, it would probably be more acceptable to the

Shooting Fraternity, and just as acceptable to the Victorian public.

In that way, we would have public/shooter acceptance, and not

resistance.

ATTACHMENT

32. Attached at Appendix ‘A’ is a research paper compiled by Senior

Sergeant WATERMAN on Firearms Registration.

33. I do not propose to comment on that paper as it is appropriate

that the reader draw their own conclusions.

A. NEWGREEN/Chief Inspector,

Registrar of Firearms.

AN/sk.

VICTORIA

POLICE COLLEGE

INSPECTORS, COURSE NO. 51 – 1986

For an official copy of this document, contact:

David Foley, Superintendent, Freedom of Information Officer

Freedom of Information Unit

P.O. Box 415

Melbourne 3005

Victoria, Australia

Phone: (61 3) 9247 6801 Fax: (61 3) 9247 5736

RESEARCH LECTURE PAPER

PREPARED BY

S. W. WATERMAN

SENIOR SERGEANT 15548

VICTORIA POLICE COLLEGE

INSPECTORS’ COURSE NO. 51 – 1986

RESEARCH LECTURE PAPER

FIREARMS – IS IT A POLICE RESPONSIBILITY

SYNOPSIS

Firearms have been present in our community since Australia was

founded in 1788. In chose early days settlers relied upon the firearm

to defend themselves and their families from their enemies and to

provide a means of procuring sustenance for the family table.

Neither of those requisites for ownership of a firearm exist in

today’s society, however the number of firearms present in our

community is estimated at a staggering one million, almost all of

which are owned and used for sporting purposes. In recent times the

proliferation of firearms, as cause to Governments to impose stricter

ownership controls and stricter means of usage. Registration is one

such measure and has been adopted universally by Democratically

elected Governments such as those in the Australian States, New

Zealand and Great Britain.

The mandatory registration of firearms has been instituted in Victoria

since 1983, in the interim period of 3 years other Australian States

and overseas countries have seen fit to abandon the scheme and replace

it with stricter forms of firearms ownership. With these recent

events in. mind the topic of firearms registration and control of

firearms legislation by police has been critically examined.

Legislation of Australian States, New Zealand and Great Britain has

been reviewed and interviews conducted with members of the legal

service, Police firearms authorities and officials from the sports

shooting fraternities with the view of obtaining a global view of

community feelings.

The conclusions are quite apparent and the recommendations sound-

There can be no doubt that firearm registration is ineffective and

that education of the firearm user of paramount importance. In

conclusion there is also little doubt that the Police as a body are

the most suitable agency to supervise firearms legislation and

control.

– 1 –

VICTORIA

POLICE COLLEGE

INSPECTORS, COURSE NO. 51 – 1986

RESEARCH LECTURE PAPER

FIREARMS – IS IT A POLICE RESPONSIBILITY?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

_________________________________________________________________

Item Page Paragraph

_________________________________________________________________

History of Victorian Firearms Control 3 – 9

Initial Legislation 3 6 – 7

First Firearms Act 3 8 – 9

Objectives of Current Firearms Act 3 10

Shooters Licence 4 11 – 12

Licensing Procedures 4 13

Licence Fee and Proviso’s 5 14

Renewal of Shooters Licence Fee 5 15

Cancellation of Shooters Licence 5 16 – 17

Firearm Registration 5 18 – 20

Contributors & Resistance to Legislation 6 21 – 24

Changes

Implementation to Registration 7 25 – 26

Notice of Disposal 7 27 – 78

Airguns and Air rifles 8 29 – 31

Registration of Pistols 9 32 – 35

New South Wales Licensing and Registration 9 11

Procedure

Licensing of Firearms 9 36 – 37

Police Discretion 10 38

Revocation 10 39

Registration 10 40 – 41

Comment 11 42

Queensland Legislation 11 – 12

No Existing Licensing Scheme 11 43

Reason Why No Gun Controls 11 44

Comment 12 45

– i –

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Item Page Paragraph

_________________________________________________________________

South Australian Legislation 12 – 14

Licensing 12 46 – 48

Registration 13 49

Revocation of Licence 13 50

Firearms Consultative Committee 13 51

Comment 14 51

Northern Territory Legislation 14 – 15

Licensing 14 52

Registration 15 56

Comment 15 57

West. Australian Legislation 15 – 16

Licensing Procedure 15 58 – 59

Registration 16 60 – 62

Comment 16 63

Tasmania Legislation 16 – 17

Firearms Control 16 64 – 65

A.C.T. Legislation 17 – 18

Firearms Legislation 17 66

Application for Firearm Licence 17 67

Registration 17 68

United Kingdom Legislation 13 – 20

Firearm Laws 15 69 – 70

Police Involvement 15 71 – 74

Effectiveness of Policy 19 75 – 78

Renewal of Registration 20 79

 

New Zealand Registration 20 – 23

Firearm Registration 21 80 – 83

Board of Enquiry 21 84 – 85

Licensing Procedures for Firearm Owners 22 86

Tables of Comparisons 23 87

Interviews and Opinions 23

Sports Shooting Association 23 88

Government Statute Draughtsman 24 89

– ii –

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Item Page Paragraph

_________________________________________________________________

Conclusions 25 – 28

Areas Reviewed 25 90 – 91

Number of Firearms in Victoria 26 92 – 94

Registration of Firearms “Is it a Police 27 95

Responsibility

Registrar 27 96

Police Role 27 97 – 98

Can the Task of Registration be effectively 27 99 – 100

carried out

Registration and Administration –

Police Role 2,3 101 – 106

Lack of Firearms Safety Tests 29 107

in Victoria

Recommendations 29 – 30

Reposed Amendment 29 108

Political Motives 30 109

Education 30 110

Police Control 30 111

Bibliography 31 – 32

Appendix A 33 – 38

B 39 – 42

C 43

D 44 – 49

E 50

F Old Police Perspective 51

G 52

H 53

I 54

J 55

– iii –

VICTORIA

POLICE COLLEGE

INSPECTORS’ COURSE NO. 51 – 1986

RESEARCH LECTURE PAPER

FIREARMS – IS IT A POLICE RESPONSIBILITY?

ALPHABETICAL INDEX

Item Page Paragraph

_________________________________________________________________

Abandoned Registration – South Australia 14 51

A.C.T. Legislation – 17 66 – 68

– Application for Firearm Licence 17 67

Airguns and Air Rifles – Definition 8 29 – 30

– South Australia 12 47

– Victoria 8 29 – 30

Arms Act – New Zealand 20 80

Australian Firearms Law Institute 11 41

Australian Police Federation 6 21

Brower, Robert 8 31

Bureau of Statistics – Australia 2 1

Cancellation of Shooters Licence – Victoria 5 18

Civillian Administration – Victoria 25 89

Civil liberties invasion – Victoria 24 88

Clarke, Edward 26 92

Conclusions 25 – 29 90 – 107

Cost-effectiveness – Dollars 25 89

– Objective 25 89

Criminal Element 9 35

Criminal Records – United Kingdom 17 72

– New Zealand 21 82

Emmersley, Robert 24 89

Enquiry – New Zealand 21 83 – 85

Fine, David J. 13 51

Firearms – Australia 2 1

– Consultative Committee – South Au. 13 51

– Consultative Committee – Victoria 9 31

Firearms Education 30 110

Firearms – Registration – Victoria 3 16

– New South Wales 10 40 – 41

– South Australia 13 49

– Queensland 11 49

– iv –

ALPHABETICAL INDEX

Item Page Paragraph

_________________________________________________________________

Firearms Registration – Tasmania 16 64

– A.C.T. 17 68

– United Kingdom 19 71

– New-Zealand 20 80

– Northern Territory 15 56

– West Australia 16 60 – 62

Firearms Traders Association – Victoria 6 23

Game Act Victoria 3 7

Government Statute Draughtsman 24 88

Greenwood, Colin 27 89

Gun Dealer Victoria 7 25 – 27

Homicides – Northern Territory 15 57

Humane Killing Devices 4 11

Illegal Firearms 9 31

Ill Feeling – Firearms Inspector 23 88

Illegal Firearm 9 31

Labour Government – Left Wing 23 88

– Victoria 5 18

Licensing Procedures – A.C.T 17 66 – 68

– New South Wales 9 36

– Northern Territory 14 52

– New Zealand 72 86

– Queensland 11 43 – 44

– South Australia 12 46

– Tasmania 16 64

– Victoria 4 13

– United Kingdom 19 73 – 74

– West Australia 15 59

Licence Fee – Victoria 5 14

” ” 5 19

” ” 25 89

New South Wales Legislation 9 35 – 39

New Zealand – Board of Enquiry 21 84 – 85

– Legislation 23 80 – 87

– Mountain Safety Council 22 86 – 87

Non Registration – Victoria 26 92

Notice of Acquisition – Victoria 8 28

Notice of Sale – Victoria 8 28

Northern Territory – Legislation 14 52 – 57

Number of Firearms allowed – Victoria 26 92

Objectives of Act – Victoria 4 10

24 89

– v –

ALPHABETICAL INDEX

Item Page Paragraph

_________________________________________________________________

Pea Rifle and Saloon Gun Act 3 7

Pistols – Victoria 9 33 – 35

Police control of Act – A.C-T. 17 66

– New South Wales 11 42

– Northern Territory 14 52

– New Zealand 21 81 – 83

– Queensland 12 45

– South Australia 12 46

– Tasmania 16 64 – 65

– Victoria 3 14

– United Kingdom 18 71

– West Australia 15 59

Police Prosecutions – Victoria 25 89

Police Role 26 97 – 98

Politics 29 100

Queensland Government 12 45

Queensland Legislation 11 43 – 45

Registrar – Firearms – A.C.T. 17 67

– Victoria 9 32

Rippon. Tom 6 19

Registration of Firearms – A.C.T. 17 76 – 77

– New South Wales 11 42

– Northern Territory 15 56

– New Zealand 21 81 – 83

– Queensland 11 44

– South Australia 13 49

– Tasmania 16 64 – 65

– Victoria 9 32

– United Kingdom 18 71

– West Australia 16 60

Safety Tests – lack of 29 107

– New Zealand 22 86

– Recommended 30 110

Shark gun – power heads 4 11

Shooting – Sports Council of Victoria 8 31

Shot guns – United Kingdom 17 70

South Australian Legislation 12 46 – 51

Survey – Firearms 13 48

Sports Shooting Association 23 88

Tasmanian Legislation 16 64 – 66

Surveys 17 65- vi –

ALPHABETICAL INDEX

Item Page Paragraph

_________________________________________________________________

United Kingdom – Applications 19 73 – 74

– Fees 24 88

– Legislation 18 – 20 69 – 79

Victorian Firearms Act – First 3 8 – 9

Victorian Voters 6 23 – 24

Wales – Firearms Numbers 29 76

West Australia Legislation 15 58 – 63

– vii –

VICTORIA

POLICE COLLEGE

OFFICERS’ COURSE NO. 51 – 1986

RESEARCH LECTURE PAPER

FIREARMS – IS IT A POLICE RESPONSIBILITY?

INTRODUCTION

Firearms in the Community

1. In the last official survey in 1975 carried out by the Bureau of

Australian Statistics (1) there were estimated to be 1,354,700

firearms in Australia and 338,200 in Victoria. (See Appendix “A”).

2. There has been no survey conducted since 1975 but the latest

estimates of firearms in Victoria by the Firearms Registry in 1982

suggests one million, a dramatic rise in eleven years. (2).

3. Up until April 1986 there was 260,000 licensed shooters’ or gun

owners’ in Victoria. A further 20,000 persons were anticipated to

become licensed by June 1986. The current estimates put the number of

firearms per licensed persons at 2.8 firearms. In interpreting those

figures and the inclusion of airguns and rifles then the figure of

1,000,000 firearms becomes realistic. (3)

Purpose for this Paper

4. It is my intention in this paper co critically examine some

aspects of firearms registration and the control in licensing the

persons to use these firearms. More importantly, should it be a

Police responsibility and can this be effectively carried out and

controlled.

______________________________________________________________

(1) General Social Survey. Australian Bureau of Statistics..

1975. p.3

(2) Interview with the Registrar of Firearms for the State of

Victoria Chief Inspector B. Fennessy on April 5th, 1986.

(3) Interview with Chief Inspector Fennessy.

– 2 –

5. In drawing my conclusion I have made use of my research both in

Victoria, other Australian States and overseas in respect to firearm

controls.

History of Victorian Firearms Control

6. Initial Legislation. The first recorded Victorian legislation

to control the use and possession of firearms was The Pea Rifle and

Saloon Gun Act proclaimed on November 25th. 1912. (See Appendix “B”).

In essence the Act was introduced in order to set the legal minimum

age for ownership of Pea rifles and Saloon guns, legislation was also

made to create the offences of supplying pea rifles, saloon guns and

ammunition to persons under 18 years of age. It is interesting to

note that at this time firearm control was made a police

responsibility in the organization and control of the Act.

7. The Game Act (now the Wildlife Act) was also responsible for

the prohibition of shooting certain species of animals and for setting

bag limits for game and controlling the type of firearms used for

taking game.

8. First Firearms Act. In 1922 the first Victorian firearms Act

was proclaimed and closely followed the workings of the English Act

that had beer& proclaimed two years earlier. Apart from controlling

@un dealers it also made police permission necessary to Purchase or

possess a concealable firearm (pistol).

9. From 1953 to 1972 the Act extended the provision to include

rifles other than pea rifles. This provision was introduced to try to

keep control over high powered rifles and the people who used them.

Members of the shooting fraternity expressed considerable

dissatisfaction with these provisions and in 1972, following several

reports of the Statute Law Revision Committee of the 1960’s, the then

Liberal Government repealed the legislation and introduced the

Shooters Licence, the system that we now operate under.

10. Objectives of Current Firearms Act. The present day Firearms

Act has now consolidated all firearms offences and they are now

included in the one Act. The Act has been proclaimed to:

(a) Control firearm sales and their safe use.

(b) Allow those who participate in firearms sport-to do SC,

in a controlled manner.

(c) support the security industry.

(d) Control and regulate the safe use and presence of

firearms in the community.

– 3 –

11. Shooters Licence. From 1972 to 1983 the only firearms required

to be registered related to pistols and instruments like humane

killing devices shark gun power heads and similarly declared weapons.

12. During this period legislation was enacted that required all

persons who were to purchase, carry, possess or use certain firearms

to hold a shooters licence, permit or other authority. This

legislation was to cover, rifles, shotguns etc.

“Subject to the provisions of this Act no person shall

purchase, possess, carry or use a firearm of a type in any

category referred to in sub-section (4) unless he holds a

shooters licence, permit or other authority granted under

this

parc authorizing him to purchase, possess, carry or use such

firearm”. (4)

13. Licensing Procedures. Any persons resident in the State of

Victoria who requires a shooters licence has only to go to his local

Police Station, where he will be interviewed by a Policeman.

Providing that he can produce sufficient identification and he can

satisfy the policeman that he is:-

(a) of good character.

(b) over 18 years of age.

 

(c) has good reason to possess a firearm.

 

(d) good knowledge of firearm safety procedures and law.

 

(e) will ensure proper storage of firearms when not in use.

 

(f) is not insane, of sober habit and otherwise a person fit

to be trusted to use the firearm properly.

 

Then after a cooling off period of 3 weeks be issued with a

Shooters Licence vide Section 4 of sub-section 22AA of the Firearms

Act:-

(4) (a) Every shooters-licence shall be in the prescribed

form and shall authorize the holder –

(i) to purchase, possess, carry and use any

firearm (not being a pistol) of any one

or more of the following categories specified

in the licence:-

A – Shot gun.

B – Pea rifle, air gun, air rifle.

C – Any other rifle. (5)

_______________________________________________________________

(4) Firearms Acc 1958. No. 6251. Section 2TAA (1).

(5) Firearms Act 1958. No. 6251. Section 22AA (4) (a).

– 4 –

14. Licence Fee & Proviso’s. At present the annual fee for a

shooters licence is $10.00 per year- The applicant may select either

an annual licence or a three year licence. The Government has also

made provision for exemptions from payment for primary producers and

their employees. Pensioners may also obtain licences at a reduced

price.

15. Renewal of Shooters & Licence Fee. Upon the expiration of the

shooters licence the holder must decide if he wishes to renew the

licence or not. Provided that he is still a suitable person he may

pay his renewal fee at his local bank. The police do not’ play any

role in the renewal process and fee collection.

16. Cancellation of Shooters Licence. The Registrar may cancel any

shooters licence it in his opinion the holder of a licence:-

(a) Has proved to be irresponsible for the handling, care and

storage of the firearm when nor in use.

(b) Is shown not to be of good character.

(c) Has wilfully made a false statement on his application form

for a shooters licence.

(d) Has been convicted in Australia of an offence which

renders him as an unsuitable person to hold a licence.

17. The Registrar of the firearms may also apply to the Firearms

Consultative Committee for cancellation of a shooters licence if the

licensee is a person of intemperate habits or insane or otherwise

unfitted to be entrusted with the care and use of firearms.

Firearm Registration

18. Reviewing of the Legislation. As previously mentioned in

paragraph 9 a form of firearm registration existed in Victoria between

1953 and 1972. However in 1983 the Labour Government of Victoria

introduced as legislation the mandatory registering of all firearms

within Victoria. The registration was to be phased in over a period

of 4 years by each licensed shooter submitting derails of his or her

firearms when they renewed their shooters licences. At the same time

Licensed Gun Dealers were to also submit details of firearms sales as

they were made, buyers and sellers of firearms were also to submit the

relevant details to the Firearms Registrar. The purpose of this

exercise was to have on record by February 1987, every firearm in the

State of Victoria.

19. A fee of $1.00 per firearm was set as the total registration

amount. The firearm was to be registered on a once only basis

provided that it was not re-sold. The Victoria Police were made the

organizing body and a new position entitled ‘Registrar of Firearms’

created.

– 5 –

20. Prior to the implementing of firearms registration the various

factions of the shooting fraternity protested against registration in

a vigourous manner. To appreciate the situation in Victoria it is

necessary to examine the events leading up to registration.

21. Contributers & Resistance to Legislation Changes. In 1979,

Delegates of the Australian Police Federation met in Darwin to discuss

points of mutual interest. Inspector T. Rippon the Secretary of the

Victoria Police Association was present at the meeting and in an

interview with him on April 7th, 1986 he related the following

points:-

(a) Delegates from all States of Australia adopted the view

that the spread of firearms throughout. the community

should be contained.

(b) That no one person should be permitted to possess more

than three firearms without having to show cause why they

should have another.

(c) That all firearms should be registered and those records

computerised for the use of police in combatting crime. (6)

(d) That the Delegates from each Australian State should

adopt this policy as the official Police Federation

policy and that their respective associations would lobby

their state government opposition parties to adopt their

recommendations.

22. Inspector Rippon states that in 1981 the Labour Party were in

opposition and that they adopted the majority of the recommendations

made by the Police Association. They did however propose the number

of firearms allowable to each person before having to show cause, to

one.

23. Upon this formula becoming public the Firearms Traders

Association and several large firearms companies such as Remington and

Winchester petitioned the 380,000 licensed shooters in Victoria

recommending co them not to vote Labour as registration was an

invasion of their privacy and the restriction in the number of

firearms permitted an infringement on their rights. (The notice

distributed is attached at Appendix “C”).

24. In addition members of the various shooting associations

circulated papers (Appendix “D” also see interviews in paragraph’s 88

and 89) advocating none of their members vote Labour at the

forthcoming elections. The Labour party realised that they could

jeopardise those 380,000 voters and thus modified their stance to the

present situation by not imposing a limit.

_______________________________________________________________

(6) Interview wich Inspector T. Rippon, Secretary of The Victoria

Police Association, Melbourne on March 30th, 1986.

– 6 –

Implementation of Registration.

25. on November 29th, 1983 the laws applicable to registration of

firearms came into operation under Section 22AA of the Firearms Act.

The Sub-sections are as follows:-

” (11) Every person who is the holder of a shooters licence at

the commencement of Section 11 of the Firearms (Amendment)

Act 1983 shall when he next applies for renewal of his

licence after the said commencement notify the registrar in

writing the particulars as prescribed of all firearms then

in his possession and shall forward with the notification a

fee of $1 for each of those firearms.

(12) When issuing or renewing a shooters licence the registrar

shall record upon the licence particulars of all firearms in

the possession of the holder of the licence and in

circumstances where such recording is not practicable, may

issue a certificate of registration in respect of chose

firearms.

(13) The holder of a shooters licence who acquires a firearm

as a beneficiary under a will shall within 14 days of

acquiring the firearm complete and forward to the Registrar

a Notice of Acquisition of the firearm in the prescribed

form”. (7)

26. The above provisions relate to people already in possession of

firearms at the time of the commencement of the Registration period.

In addition Legislative provision was made for people who buy and

sell firearms other than antiques, firearms or pistols. Any person

who sells a firearm to:-

(a) Any person required by this Act to have firearms in his

possession registered; or

(b) A licensed gun dealer –

shall at the time of the sale deliver to the purchaser a completed

Notice of Disposal in the prescribed form together with the current

Registration of the firearm (if any). (8)

Notice of Disposal

27. Legislation has also been made to cover the situation whereby

the purchaser is not required to have the firearm registered, i.e. an

interstate buyer:-

______________________________________________________________

(7) Ibid., Section 22AA (11) (12) (13).

(8) Ibid., Section 22AA (9).

– 7 –

“Any person who sells a registered firearm, not being a pistol

or antique firearm to any person not required by this Act to

have firearms in his possession registered (other than a

licensed gun dealer) shall within 14 days of the sale deliver

or cause to be delivered to the Registrar a completed Notice of

Disposal in the prescribed form together with the current

certificate of registration of the firearm”. (9)

28. Just as the seller has an obligation to notify the Registrar so

does the purchaser:-

“Within fourteen days of the sale of a firearm, not being a

pistol or antique firearm, the purchaser of the firearm, if

required by this Act co have firearms in his possession

registered or if a licensed gun dealer shall send or deliver

to the Registrar:-

(a) A completed Notice of Aquisition in the prescribed form;

(b) The Notice of Disposal and Certificate of Registration

(if any) delivered to him under sub-section (2B); and

(c) A fee of $1.00”. (10)

Airguns and Air Rifles

29. Air guns and Air Rifles are now included in the definition of

firearm. Formerly this was not the case however in an effort co

create uniformity throughout Australia almost all states amended their

legislation to include air guns and air rifles as firearms. Tasmania

was the only state not to amend their legislation.

30. It is however difficult to make any sort of estimate as to how

many air guns and air rifles there are in the community as in the past

there was little or no control over ownership. Formerly the only forms

of control have been in relation to trespass to farms and young

persons seeking an authority from the Officer In Charge of the local

police station granting him permission to carry and use such weapons.

31. The inclusion of air guns and-air rifles in the definition of

‘firearm’ has introduced a whole new range of shooters licence

applicants. There is no doubt that there are significant numbers of

such firearms in the community. In an interview with Robert Brewer,

the Secretary of Shooting Sports Council of Victoria, he stated chat

he had inspected the importation figures over the past several years

and he had no doubt that there was a minimum of 200,000 air guns and

air rifles in the community. (11)

_______________________________________________________________

(9) ibid., Section 22AA (2C).

(10) Ibid., Section 22AA (2D).

(11) Interview with Robert Brewer, Secretary of the Victorian

Shooters Sports Council.

– 8 –

Registration of Pistols

32. One of the major duties of the Registrar of Firearms in Victoria

is the issue of pistol licences to approved applicants. Most licences

for pistols in Victoria relate to members of sporting or shooting

clubs and the Security industry. in the past employee’s of security

companies were personally licensed and owned their own handguns, this

created problems particularly after the employee had finished work.

The situation has now been altered and the company holds the pistol

licence, the employee receives his firearm at the start of work and

hands it in at the completion of his shift.

33. At the completion of 1985 there were 12,028 pistols and handguns

in the State of Victoria and 14,574 licences to carry these firearms.

(Appendix E) A thorough screening is given to all applicants for

licences and this assists to eliminate those that are considered

unsuitable to hold a pistol licence.

34. The Registrar has the power to cancel pistol licences for

persons no longer found to be suitable, this in fact happens from time

to time. The licence holder has a right of appeal to the Firearms

Consultative Committee, upon receiving an adverse decision he also has

the right to appeal to a magistrates Court.

35. This particular area of firearms control is well managed and the

incidence of offences detected by licensed pistol owners is minimal.

Whilst it must be accepted that there will allways be illicit handguns

and pistols in the hands of criminals, the control of legal pistols

etc. and the licensing of those individuals is an excellent example of

good management by Police Administration.

“If the legal distribution of firearms were restricted, the

illegal sources of supply – theft, smuggling and illegal

manufacture – would greatly expand to fill this gap. The cold

hard fact remains – the criminal element has allways found and

will continue to find, a way to obtain an illegal firearm”.(12)

NEW SOUTH WALES LICENSING AND REGISTRATION PROCEDURE

Licensing of Firearms

36. It is illegal in New South wales for a person to possess a rifle

or shotgun unless he has a current shooter’s licence. Applications

for shooter’s licence can only be lodged at a Police Station or the

Police Firearms Registry. It is the practise of the Police to issue

the shooter’s licence immediately if the application lodged by the

applicant does not disclose any adverse information and the applicant

is over the age of 18 years. Proof of age is required.

_______________________________________________________________

(12) The Police Chief, March 1985. Article by Gregor J. Sambor,

‘Tracing Firearms’. p.75.

– 9 –

37. The applicant may be required to undertake a written or oral

test chat relates to safety procedures appropriate to the class of

firearm he desires.

Police Discretion

38. The Commissioner of New South Wales Police has vested in him

unlimited discretion to grant or refuse shooter’s licences. It also

enjoins him not to licence persons unless they are:-

(a) Of good character and repute.

(b) Fit and proper to possess firearms.

Revocation

39. The Commissioner and the Registrar have the power to revoke a

shooters licence in New South Wales but only on certain conditions,

the are:-

(a) Applicant made false statements on his application when

applying for a shooters licence.

(b) Where he is convicted in New South Wales or elsewhere of a

firearms offence.

(c) Where the holder of a licence can no longer afford the licensed

firearms adequate control or where he is proved to be negligent

and careless in the use of a firearm.

Upon receipt of notice that his licence is revoked the applicant is to

surrender same to the Police. (13)

Registration of Firearms

40. A recent amendment to the Firearms Act has now included

mandatory firearm registration. Initially the N.S.W. Government went

against registration preferring to make the penalties for firearms

offences and crimes involving firearms much heavier than they had

been. The incidence of armed robberies and other firearm related

crime has now been instrumental in their change of direction. In

1983, there were over 1,000 armed robberies alone. (14)

______________________________________________________________

(13) Firearms Laws in Australia. J. David Fine. CCH Australia

Limited, Sydney, N.S.W. p.4.

(14) N.S.W. Armed Robbery Squad 1983 statistics.

– 10 –

 

41. At present Registration is accomplished in two ways. Rifles

and shotguns owned before the introduction of registration must be

registered with the Police and the fee paid then. Only holders of

current shooters licences are permitted to register long guns and

Police have the power to demand inspection of the firearm before

registration. Long guns acquired after the start of the registration

scheme will now be registered automatically by the police as a permit

is now required to purchase a particular firearm before the actual

purchase takes place. There is no limit on the number of firearms

one may own.

Comment

42. N.S.W. legislation is now very similar to Victorian

legislation with the added rule that one must obtain a permit to

purchase a long gun before he can actually buy the firearm. The

Police as in Victoria control the issue of shooters licences and

registration of the firearms.

QUEENSLAND LEGISLATION

No Existing Licensing Scheme

43. Unless one comes within a class of prevented or prohibited

persons, anyone can own, use, acquire and dispose of rifles and

shotguns in Queensland without the need for a licence or permit.

Queensland neither licences shooters nor issues licences in respect

of long guns. Pistols are registered and the owners licensed.

Reason Why No Controls

44. Although some members of the community expressed concern at

the lack of firearm legislation, members of the Australian Firearm

Law Institute conducted a comparison test between Queensland, West

Australia and the Northern Territory who have had licensing and

registration procedures dating back to 1950. West Australia was

selected because it has the longest history of restrictive legislation

in Australia. It was found after comparing the three states, two

with severe restrictions on firearms and the other with almost no

restrictions that there was very little difference between them and

that in almost every component Queensland fared slightly better. On

this basis alone it was decided not to introduce licensing shooters

or registration. (15)

_____________________________________________________________________

(15) Firearms Control. Carl G. Vandal. Australian Firearm Law

Institute 1984, reprint. p.7.

– 11 –

 

Comment

45. The same survey showed that if the Queensland Government were

to introduce licensing of firearm owners and register those firearms

then they would effectively require a further 282 personnel and that

the total cost of implementing such a scheme would be in excess of

six million dollars. The Government felt that to introduce such a

scheme would reduce the effective strength of the Police Force by 6½

per cent. The Government concluded that in Queenslands case it was

not cost effective to introduce restrictive firearms legislation.

See Appendix “F”. (16)

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LEGISLATION

Licensing

46. One must have a licence to possess any firearms in South

Australia and that licence must be in respect of the class of firearm

one wishes to possess. The Police are legally responsible to licence

all people who meet the requirement: of the Act. Those requirements

are:-

(a) over the age of 15 years.

(b) that he is a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

i.e. no history of mental disorder etc.

47. The applicant is required to pass a written examination in

the rudiments of firearms safety. The licence is only applicable to

the type of firearm:-

Class “A” – air rifle, air gun, .22 calibre rifle.

 

Class “B” – shot gun.

Class “C” – pistol.

Class “D” – all other firearms except dangerous weapons.

i.e. machine gun, gas pistol etc.”. (17)

______________________________________________________________________

(16) ibid., n.16.

(17) The South Australian Firearms Act 1977. Regulation 7.

– 12 –

 

 

48. Prior to 1977 there were no firearms legislation controlling

firearm use or possession at all except for pistols. Items like

silencers were legal, in fact one of the influencing reasons for the

decisions by the heads of the Australian Police Federation to seek

uniformity throughout Australia in relation to firearms law was a

liberal interpretation of firearms importing laws taken by several

South Australian Gun Dealers. During a drug raid in 1979 a number of

“UZI” style machine guns were located, no charges could be levelled

at the dealer owing to the looseness of the then firearms law. The

1975 Australian Bureau of Statistics survey found that there were

approximately 120,900 firearms in South Australia. No doubt a

percentage of those firearms are owned or controlled by criminals.

(18)

Registration

49. Apart from its licensing and owners scheme South Australia

also maintains a distinct scheme of firearms registration. It is an

offence to possess any firearm that has not been registered as soon

as ‘reasonably practicable’ but no more than 14 days after

acquisition of it. Prior to acquiring a firearm the applicant must

have a shooters licence to suit the category of firearm to be

purchased. (19)

Revocation of Licence

50. Where the police believe that a person is no longer fit and

proper to be licensed they may apply to the Firearms Consultative

Committee to revoke the persons firearms licences. Upon notice of

his licence being revoked a person must hand it in to the police

immediately.

Firearms Consultative Committee

51. The Firearms Consultative Committee is comprised of a

Chairman, generally an Assistant Commissioner of Police, a lawyer and

a representative of the shooting fraternity. The panel is appointed

annually by the Government. In addition the Chief Commissioner of

Police who by law is also the Firearms Registrar personally passes

judgement on every decision that is adverse against a persons

firearms licence in South Australia. The author of Firearms Laws in

Australia, J. David Fine comments in his book:-

“Whilst this structure may result in the appearance of partiality

towards police decisions which the Committee is charged to

review the author is informed that in 7 years of the Committee’s

operations no complaints have been raised on this ground”. (20)

______________________________________________________________________

(18) Australian Bureau of Statistics. op. cit.

(19) Firearm Law in Australia. op. cir., p.49.

(20) Firearm Law in Australia. op. cit., p.48.

– 13 –

Comment

51. South Australian Firearms Legislation is similar to Victorian

Legislation in that the police control the legislation and

registration procedures. As mentioned in paragraph 48, prior to 1977

the Firearms laws in South Australia were very loose and permitted

almost unlimited ownership of firearms. The new Act declared in 1977

however rectified this situation. At the time of writing this report

however moves are being made to abandon registration. This will be

discussed later on in the paper.

NORTHERN TERRITORY LEGISLATION

Licensing

52. The Northern Territory has enjoyed a form of Firearms control

since the early 1950’s. At present the firearms legislation is found

in the Northern Territory Firearms Act, 1979. Licensing of persons

who own firearms and registration of those firearms is employed by

he Act.

53. A licence will only be issued to an applicant if he is of or

above the age of 18 years and satisfies the Commissioner of the

following requirements:-

(a) he is a fit and proper person to possess, a firearm.

(b) that he has an adequate knowledge of firearm safety laws.

(c) that he has not been convicted of a firearm related offence

in the Territory or any other State of Australia.

 

(d) that he has an adequate knowledge of the Territory Firearm

Laws. (21)

54. Should he wish to obtain Class C & D licence (pistol and

machine gun type) he must be prepared to show cause. Character

checks are conducted as to the suitability of the applicant.

55. The applicant must undergo a written test and answer nine out

of the ten questions correctly. The licence when issued is issued for

a minimum of three years and is endorsed with the type, calibre and

make and serial number of the firearm.

_____________________________________________________________________

(21) Firearm Laws in Australia. op. cit., p. 116

– 14 –

Registration

56. All firearms must be registered and firearm registration

certificates can only be issued by the police to the owners of

weapons, proof of ownership must be produced at the time of ownership.

One is obliged to register firearms with the police within 14 days of

taking possession of them. The registration is valid until the

firearm is either lost, stolen or sold. Registration will also lapse

if the firearm alters in a manner that affects its safety or

qualification for that particular class.

Comment

57. The Northern Territory has one of the oldest firearms control

legislations in Australia. In 1981 it was updated and made to

conform more with the other states of Australia. Interestingly

enough for all its firearm controls it still has largest pro-rata

firearm incidents in Australia. For example in 1981 there were six

homicides by firearms in each million people in Australia, in the

Northern Territory on the same basis there were 49 Homicides per

million people. Similarly in 1981 for each 2,531 guns in the

Territory there was one gun related homicide, throughout Australia

there was one such death for each 28,090 guns.(22)

WEST AUSTRALIAN LEGISLATION

Licensing Procedure

58. In order to own or possess a firearm in West Australia the

applicant must be:-

(a) over 16 years of age and of good character.

(b) possess a good reason for wanting a firearm.

(c) not be unfit to hold a licence. (23)

59. The applicant must take his application form to the Police

Station nearest his home and he must pass a written test on firearms

safety and firearms law. The Police conduct the test and are

responsible for the issue of any licence or refusal to do so. Upon

being refused the applicant may appeal to the local Magistrates

Court.

______________________________________________________________________

(22) Firearms Control. op. cit., P.9.

(23) West Australian Firearm Act 1973.

– 15 –

Registration

60. Registration as it exists in Victoria and other States does

not apply here. On each firearm holders licence is endorsed the make

and calibre of the firearms he owns, this endorsement is made at the

time of the granting of the licence or at a later date when he

purchases the firearm. The applicant cannot purchase or buy that

calibre of firearm unless he has the endorsement on his licence.

Individual serial numbers are not indexed and cross referenced to each

firearm licensee. Police are the sole agency responsible for this

task.

61. There is no restriction on the number of firearms one may have

and upon purchasing a further firearm it is a simple matter to have

ones licence endorsed by the local police.

62. It is illegal to sell a firearm to persons other than a

licensed gun dealer or a person who is licensed to possess that

particular brand and calibre firearm.

Comment

63. West Australian firearm laws are generally thought to be the

most stringent in Australia, particularly in relation to licensing of

individuals and control of the type of firearms they can possess.

They do not have firearms registration laws which presently exist in

most States of Australia, nor do they see the need to do so in the

future.

TASMANIAN LEGISLATION

Firearms Control

64. The Tasmanian Legislation is directed exclusively at the

ownership and possession of handguns. It does not in any way

restrict or regulate the possession of long arms. Police control the

issuing of licences in relation to pistols and gun dealers, they do

not have any control over long arms at all. In fact a teenager of 16

years or over can buy a long arm of any description without any form

of licensing or instruction of its safe use. It has been publicly

quoted that Tasmania’s gun laws were so lax that mainland criminals

visited the state for express purpose of buying weapons for use in

interstate hold-ups, this being facilitated by the lack of

identification required when purchasing firearms and the lack of

firearm registration. (24)

______________________________________________________________________

(24) Melbourne Sun, 8th March, 1979.

– 16 –

65. Surveys conducted in Tasmania in 1977 indicate that certain

areas of the community wanted tighter firearms control. The then

Attorney-General Mr. Miller promised at the time that the Government

would look into the matter. Nothing has been done since that time

except for a general increase in penalty for offences involving

firearms. There are no further facts or figures since 1977 to

indicate any requirement for change to their firearm laws. In a

survey conducted by Professor Harding of the University of New South

Wales 85 per cent of firearm owners in Tasmania gave sport as their

principle reason for owning a firearm. (25)

A.C.T. LEGISLATION

Firearms Legislation

66. The Firearms Laws in the Australian Capital Territory are

controlled by the Gun Licence Ordinance of 1937. It is an offence to

possess any firearm including an air rifle in the A.C.T. without a

licence to possess one. The ordinance requires that applicants to be

of at Least 16 years of age. There are no other qualifications

required. Any type of firearm other than a pistol may be obtained.

The ordinance does provide however, that no licence can be issued

before the police are made aware of the persons application and no

licence can be issued if the police object.

Applications for Firearm Licence

67. The A.C.T. is unique in that it is the only State or Territory

in Australia that provides for non police control of firearms

ownership. The police have a right of ‘veto’ if the applicant, has a

criminal record or is mentally unsound. All firearms licences in the

A.C.T. are issued for one year and must be then renewed. The

Registrar of gun licences in Canberra is the official Government body

to control firearms and he may if he wishes revoke any persons licence

at any time upon conviction by that person of a criminal offence in

the A.C.T. or elsewhere. (26)

Registration

68. Whilst individual registration does not exist as such, a

form of firearm registration exists in that each gun owner must be

licenced and that each licence entitles him to carry a firearm of the

class described on the licence. There is no restriction on the number

of firearms that each person may own. (27)

_____________________________________________________________________

(25) Hobart Mercury, August 13th, 1977.

(26) National Times, May 30th, 1977.

(27) Firearms Laws In Australia. op. cit., p. 103.

– 17 –

UNITED KINGDOM LEGISLATION

Firearm Laws

69. Ownership and the registration of firearms in the United

Kingdom are controlled by the Firearms Act 1968. Forms of

registration and licensing have existed in the United Kingdom since

the end of World War One. The system used there varies greatly from

most Australian States, for example there are only two firearm

classifications which are:-

(a) pistols and rifles.

(b) shotguns.

70. Shotguns are not liable for individual registration. A

registration fee must be paid if you own one but there is no need to

record the brand name and serial number of each gun. Rifles and hand

guns are grouped together but must be individually registered.

Police Involvement

71. As in Australia the Police are responsible in the United

Kingdom for the issue of firearms certificates. Conditions of issue

are however much more stringent than say in Victoria. Requirements

for a firearm certificate are:-

(a) sufficient reason to require a firearm.

(b) safe storage area for firearm.

(C) specify where the firearm and ammunition will be when not

in use.

(d) be of good character. (28)

72. In addition to having a check of criminal records made by

police the applicant may have to show some form of corroboration of

the facts contained on his application form. It is not unusual for

police to want to inspect where the firearm will be stored. On this

point alone a lot of people are discouraged from applying for

ownership of firearms.

______________________________________________________________________

(28) Current Firearms Controls op. cit., p. 203.

– 18 –

 

73. Unless the applicant is known personally to police enquiries

into his background will be made. Enquiries will be made with police

from areas that he frequents and generally an Inspector will handle

the application personally. Other factors that may influence the

police are his family and close associates demeanour. Should for

example there be a relative or close friend residing in the same

premises as the applicant and that person has a prior conviction for

violence or a history of drunkeness then the chances are that the

application will be turned down. The applicant is informed of this

fact and may appeal to a Court of Quarter Sessions (before a Judge)

and argue his point.

74. As a general rule the firearms laws of the United Kingdom are

interpreted much more stringently than those of the various

Australian States. The only instance where issue of a firearm is

relaxed is ownership of a shotgun. As mentioned earlier shotguns are

not required to be registered individually but the owner must be

licensed, this is generally only a matter of paying the required fee.

Effectiveness of Policing

75. It is difficult to gauge in this particular situation whether

or not the strict registration and licence procedures have

effectively restrained the number of firearm related offences that

have occurred in the United Kingdom. The principle of tight gun

control is to stop the flow of guns to the criminal element. It was

the intention of the Government in 1973 to introduce individual

registration of shotguns, however the firearm enthusiasts protested

vigourously and the legislation halted. Since that period the

Government has seen fit to increase the price of firearm registration

and shotgun licensing, in effect the fee has increased 1,600 % in the

last 14 years. See Appendix “G”.. (29)

76. By increasing the prices of firearm registration and the

licensing of shotgun owners in the manner that they have it would

appear that a large volume of people have either sold off their

firearms or declined to renew their registrations and licences. The

total number of firearms in England and Wales in 1969 was 209,946,.

in 1968 the fees were 5s. upon purchase and 2s.d. upon renewal, it was

mooted that in 1982 the price would be £41 for purchase and £31 for

renewal. See Appendix “G”‘. It is this very factor of steep price

rises that has caused firearm enthusiasts to become militant on the

matter of registration..

77. In 1968 the number of firearms registered in England and Wales

was estimated at 209,946. At this time the fee to register a gun was

very cheap. The Government of the day moved to have shotguns made the

subject of registration also. The firearms fraternity in the U.K.

argued strongly against such a move. They were successful and the

shotgun issue was dropped, however as a trade off the Government

increased the price of registration and renewal. Since that time the

price of registering a firearm has gone from 5s ($0.50 -Australian)to

£25.00s ($50.00 – Australian).

_____________________________________________________________________

(29) Handgunner, September – October, 1982. British publication.

– 19 –

78. By way of reaction to the price increase in registration it

has now been determined that in 1982 there are 51,000 less firearm

registrations and the figure is decreasing a further 4,000 each year.

No enquiry has been held to determine whether or not the owners have

actually sold their firearms because of the expensive registration

fees or they have just not bothered to renew then each year. In

effect in 1982 fees had increased by 130 % and registrations were

down by 24%. (30) See Appendix “G”.

Renewal of Registration

79. In Victoria the registration fee is paid once and that

suffices for as long as the present owner retains possession of the

firearm, the same system is utilised in all of the other states of

Australia. Not so in the United Kingdom, in fact every year the

firearm is subject to registration renewal and the local police are

responsible for visiting the owner at his home to check that the same

condition under which the licence or registration was granted still

applies. This may include:-

(a) does the holder still own the firearm.

(b) are his storage facilities still adequate.

(C) has he been convicted of any offences in the past year.

(d) are his reasons for possessing the firearm still valid.

Enquiries will be made with his local gun club to ensure

that he is still an active member of the club.

(e) inspection of the amount of ammunition fired by the

applicant. If little use has been made of the gun he may be

invited to sell the weapon or he may have difficulty in

having the registration renewed.

NEW ZEALAND REGISTRATION

Firearm Registration

80. In 1920 the First World War had just finished with many

servicemen bringing pistols and automatic firearms back into the

country. They were freely available at stores. Revolution had

occurred in Russia and there was fear that large scale industrial

demonstrations could occur in New Zealand. Historically the Arms Act

was introduced and registration of all firearms including shotguns

was introduced in an effort to control the illegal use of firearms.

_____________________________________________________________________

(30) Current Firearms Controls. op. cit., p. 212.

– 20 –

81. The police were given the responsibility to handle the

registration and within 2 years there were over 20,000 firearms on

file. By 1928 the sheer volume of work in registering all of the

firearms was proving difficult for the police, at one stage there were

more firearms on record than there were inhabitants of New Zealand.

In 1929 a Bill was introduced to Government to dispense with the

registration of rifles and shotguns, the Bill was defeated. In 1930 a

compromise was reached and shotguns were dropped from the registration

list. (31)

82. Initially it was argued that firearm registration was

effective in keeping track of firearm movements and a way in which

criminals could be located. However the number of firearms on record

made indexing the system manually, time consuming and often mistakes

were made. Some-criminals were traced via the use of the firearms

registrations, however the number is minimal and in 1968 the Police

Department decided to put all of its records onto the National

computer at Wanganui. This idea failed when it was found that the

records were so out of date that it was impracticable.

83. To counter this problem it was decided to have every firearm

owner call in to their local Police station with their firearm so an

inspection could be made and accurate descriptions could be placed

into the computer. At this stage there were 350,000 firearm owners

and over 500,000 firearms with no estimate of the number of shotguns.

Those who could not call into the Police Station would have to be

visited. Eleven years later in 1979 it was found that some Police

Districts had still not completed their enquiries.

Board of Enquiry

84. A Government Board of Enquiry was convened and the subject of

the enquiry; of Firearm Registration reviewed At the completion the

results were made public and recommendations put to the Government.

they were:-

(a) a personal check of all firearm owners from 1968-73 could

not be finished.

(b) as a result of the check the accuracy of the index was in

doubt.

(c) to register rifles and shotguns as well would mean

correcting all existing records.

(d) periodic renewal of all records would be necessary.

(e) in light of the fact that the last check took eleven

years and was still uncompleted it would place a massive

burden on the police that was unjustified. (32)

_________________________________________________________________

(31) Project Foresight. New Zealand Government Publication, 1985. p. 3

(32) Project Foresight. op. cit., p. 7.

 

– 21 –

85. Consequently it was decided to abandon registration and

introduce licensing of the person. Reasons why this was more

favourable are:-

(a) police costs will be reduced.

(b) very little use of the index and system indicated that it

did not assist in tracking down criminals.

(c) police will have immediate access to records on who is

licensed to own a firearm.

(d) allow recreational shooters to pursue their sport without

undue restrictions.

(e) reduce police time spent on maintaining records.

 

(f) allow police to spend more time in the community. (33)

Licensing Procedures for Firearm Owners

86. In 1983 the New Zealand Government passed a new and much

revised Arms Act that removed many of the anomalies existing in

previous legislation. Regarded by many as being the most enlightened

and forward thinking firearms legislation in the Western world this

century the Arms Act introduced some significant changes. Foremost

amongst these is the discarding of the requirement that all firearms

had to be registered with the police. Whilst the police still play a

major role in the new Act certain changes have taken place:-

(a) the applicant is required to obtain an-application form from

the police station and detail background information on

himself and provide the police with the names of two

referees. Both these persons will be asked if the applicant

is a fit and proper person-to own a firearm.

(b) the police will provide the applicant with a book on firearm

safety. The applicant will be advised to study the book.

(c) the police will inform you of a date to attend the New

Zealand Mountain Safety Council lecture in the area. At the

completion of the lecture which takes 2 hours the applicant

will be asked questions from the lecture and the book he was

given earlier. A written test will also be given. See

Appendixes “H” & Hill.

(d) on successful completion of the exam the New Zealand Mountain

Safety Council Officer will give the applicant a certificate

which he can resent at the police Station. Provided that all

the other requirements have been met the police will issue

the applicant with a Firearms licence that is valid for

life.

______________________________________________________________________

(33) Project Foresight. op. cit., p.8.

– 22 –

(e) the licence allows the holder to possess rifles and

shotguns of any calibre and to buy, sell or do whatever he

wishes with firearms. The minimum age for such a licence

is 16 years. (34)

Tables of Comparisons

87. A table of Legislative Comparison is indicated at Appendix “J”.

INTERVIEWS AND OPINIONS

Sports Shooting Association

88. Members of the Sports Shooting Association of Victoria hold

strong views in relation to firearms control and firearms

registration. As part of my research I interviewed the Secretary of

the organization Mr. Ted Clarke, a man with over 40 years experience

in firearm sport and administration, the following points were

discussed:-

(a) members of the Sports Shooting Association were of the

view that the police must play a vital role in the

conduct of the firearms legislation and registration as

they have control over criminal records and it was not in

the community interest to see undesireable people licensed

to possess firearms.

(b) almost all members of the organization, the largest in

Australia were of the belief that registration served no

purpose other than to serve a means of restricting firearm

owners amongst the population and that it would later

serve as form of taxation. Members of the Victorian

Branch were concerned that the left wing elements of the

labour party were practising marxist doctrines in

attempting to curb the number of firearms amongst the

community.

(c) most members believe that shooters licences could be

issued by a non police organization with the police

retaining a right to veto any person found to be found to

be undesireable.

(d) in the past inconsistent view points in relation to

firearms control by issuing officers had fueled a lot of

ill feelings between some police members and members of

the shooting fraternity. It was not unusual apparently

for an applicant to be refused a firearm licence in one

suburb simply because of the Firearm Inspectors personal

view point and dislike of civilians possessing firearms,

a simple change of address to an area where a more liberal

Inspector worked usually reversed the decision.

______________________________________________________________________

(34) The New Zealand Firearm Handbook, 1985 Edition, New Zealand

Mountain Safety Council, Wellington, New Zealand.

– 23 –

(e) firearms officers often in the past had imposed limits on the

number of firearms one could possess without there being any

basis at law for the imposition of such limits. Applicants

were often forced to go to court and pay out money for

Solicitors etc. on the personal whim of a policeman.

(f) almost without exception members of the Association and allied

shooting clubs were of the opinion that registration was an

invasion of civil liberties and as such was not a viable

proposition. The main basis of this belief was that

registration will only reflect the names of the honest people

who are prepared to submit their details to the Registrar and

that the criminals, who are more likely to transgress the

firearm laws would not bother. When all things were to

be taken into account it was for this very reason that

registration was introduced.

(g) in the United Kingdom firearms registration fees were now at

exorbitant prices and the members here could see that in time

the Government may see fit to bring our own fees into line

with those in the United Kingdom. It was also likely that an

annual fee for registration could be imposed as has been done

in the U.K.

Government Statute Draughtsman

89. In an effort to obtain different view points I also

interviewed the Victorian State Government Statute Draughtsman Mr.

Robert Emmersly. During the interview we discussed several aspects

of the initial legislation of which Emmersly had draughted, some of

these points are:-

(a) The objectives of the Firearms Act.

(i) protect the public from injury.

(ii) prevent damage to property from the misuse of firearms and

(iii) to minimise the effects of misuse of firearms.

(b) In reply to a question asking the effectiveness of registration

to date, Emmersly replied, “I’ve yet to see a study that adopts

the fact that registration is effective”. In relation to our

own registration policy an accurate conclusion could not

be-reached as the initial period will not be completed until

January 1987.

– 24 –

(c) On the issue of Police control of firearms legislation and

registration Emmersly was of the belief that whilst firearms

registration was actually carried out by civilians the

administration of the Registry and the legislation was best

carried out by police. He could not see any alternatives that

could be considered viable and was of the opinion that as

police controlled the criminal records and that nine out of

every ten firearms licence cancellations arose from police

observation or police initiated court action they were in fact

the obvious choice.

(d) The financial burden of firearms registration has been capably

met by the recent increase in the cost of shooters licences.

Initially to cover the cost of computerisation printing etc.

and other costs the estimate of one million dollars to set up

registration was made. This was based on the estimate of one

million firearms being present in Victoria. The ongoing costs

of registration were worked out at $8.30 per shooters licence

per year. As can be seen at this stage the cost of issuing

shooters licences and registration is cost effective in terms

of dollars and cents.

(e) In terms of cost effectiveness, objective wise it is too early

to determine whether or not registration is working in

Victoria. Although the Legislative Committee initially

envisaged over one million firearms would be registered

during the four year registration period, at best there can

only be 520,000 firearms registered by February 1987 if the

current trends continue.

(f) In reply to a question of the likelyhood of a price rise of

firearms registration Emmersly was of the belief that this

was most unlikely unless the Government saw it as an avenue of

creating indirect taxation.

CONCLUSIONS

Areas reviewed

90. In this paper I have confined my research to the laws relating to

firearm registration within Australia and two overseas countries,

Great Britain and New Zealand. I chose Great Britain and New Zealand

as they have similar lifestyles and political ideologies as Australia.

I have also briefly covered the history of firearms registration in

Victoria and New Zealand and researched the matter of the issue of

shooters licences in all Australian States, the United Kingdom-and

New Zealand.

– 25 –

91. When dealing with these two topics I also reviewed matters

arising from them, namely the role that police play in the issuing of

shooters licences, the administration of firearms registration and

legislation and in their absence could a civillian organization take

their place or in view of the number of firearms in the community can

it be successfully done at all.

Number of Firearms in Victoria

92. In order to establish whether or not registration of firearms

can adequately be undertaken it is necessary to determine how many

firearms there are in the state. To do this a monitoring system can

be set up to gauge the degree of effectiveness of registration. The

following authorities have made estimates based on their own

formulas:-

(a) Robert Brewer, Secretary of Firearm Traders Association,

estimates one million firearm and several hundred thousand

airguns etc. This estimate is derived from facts within his

own knowledge and the monthly customs importation sheets.

(b) Chief Inspector Brian Fennessy, the Registrar of Firearms for

the State of Victoria estimates that for every licensed

shooter there are 2.8 firearms within the state. It is

estimated that the 260,000 licensed shooters own

approximately 728,000 firearms. At this stage there are

460,000 firearms registered in the state with an estimate

that by the end of the first 4 year registration period in

February 1987, there will be approximately 520,000 firearms

registered.

(c) Robert Emmersly, State Government Statute Draughtsman

responsible for the legislation in relation to firearms

registration estimates one million firearms in the state.

(d) Mr. Ted Clarke, Secretary of the Shooting Sports Council of

Victoria estimates around 800,000 from facts within his own

knowledge and adds that with the inclusion of airguns and air

rifles onto the definition of firearms there could well be in

excess of one million.

93. It would appear that an estimate of the number of guns within

the community cannot be made with any great degree of accuracy. As a

result of my own investigations and research I believe the figure of

one million firearms to be a fair assessment. Even allowing for an

error factor of 20% which would reduce my estimate to a minimum of

800,000 firearms it is evident that many people are either not

registering their firearms or are only registering some of their

firearms.

94. Although the initial 4 years allowing for firearm registration

in Victoria has not yet been completed the number of firearms

estimated on current trends indicates a maximum of 520,000. This

figure is well short of the discounted estimate of 800,000. Using

those figures it appears that in February 1987 there will be 280,000.

unaccounted for firearms within the State.

– 26 –

Registration of Firearms, “Is it a Police Responsibility?”

95. If we are to accept that Registration is here to stay and will

become an integral part of our firearms control legislation then the

question of who is to be the organization responsible for the control

of registration must be considered.

Registrar

96. Presently the Victoria Police have a Registrar and Deputy

Registrar of Firearms with a staff of 60 public servants who are

engaged in the actual physical task of firearm registration.

Police Role

97. The police role in carrying out the registration is minimal,

the role of the Registrar and his Deputy is that of a legally

appointed guardian acting on behalf of the Government to ensure that

the provisions of registration as set down by the Firearms Act is

complied with. The police also have the legal authority to be able

to prosecute for any breach of the Firearms Law.

98. A comparison to other states in Australia regarding firearm

control legislation indicates that the police as a rule are preferred

to be the responsible body for firearms control.

Can the task of Registration be effectively carried out

99. The research carried out in relation to the viability of

firearm registration strongly indicates that the exercise is costly,

inaccurate and ineffective. This is borne out by the fact that it

has been abandoned in such places as New Zealand and in very recent

times about to be abandoned in South Australia. One of foremost

authorities on British Firearms Legislation the former Chief

Inspector Colin Greenwood had this to say in relation to

registration:-

“Careful examination of the evidence available suggests therefore

Legislation has failed to bring under control substantial

numbers of firearms and that it certainly cannot be claimed that

strict controls have reduced the number of firearms in crime.

On the basis of these facts it might be argued that firearms

registration has little effect and don’t justify the amount

of-police time involved. (35)

____________________________________________________________________

(35) Firearms Control. op-. cit., p. 245.

– 27 –

100. Although firearms registration in most Australian States

is a fairly recent innovation it would appear that already some

states are preparing to repeal legislation. Registration has only

been in operation in South Australia for 5 years but a recent (April

1986) investigation into the viability of the scheme had this to

say:-

“If the objective of registration of firearm is to determine

their numbers, who uses them and where they are (even if there

is another objective which has reasonable substance to it) the

apparent inaccuracy of the existing system of registration and

its cost indicate that the objective cannot be achieved. (36)

Registration & Administration, Police Role?

101. Research indicates with the exception of the Australian

Capitol Territory the police are the body responsible for the

registering of firearms and the licensing of person to own or use

those firearms in every state and territory of Australia. It would

appear that, there is little or no form of protest by members of the

shooting fraternities or the public with the present system.

102. This has not always been so, in the past in Victoria the

issue of shooters licences by the police created ill feeling between

some of the shooting clubs and certain police members. This was

bought about by the attitudes of some inspectors towards licensing

people to possess high powered rifles and what are now classed as

category C weapons. The advent of the Firearms Consultative

Committee and a more uniform and liberal approach towards the granting

of licences has eased what previously had been an unpleasant

situation.

103. The notable acceptations to police being responsible for

licensing and registration is the Australian Capitol Territory and

New Zealand. In both cases external bodies are responsible for the

licensing of applicants whilst the police maintain their traditional

role of checking the character of the applicant. New Zealand

authorities take the matter further and then they remove the need to

register firearms at all.

104. This system of civilian responsibility for firearms

control appears to operate effectively on the surface. However a

close look behind the scenes indicates that police still have the

overall responsibility for actual firearms control and the right to

veto any person thought to be unfit to possess a firearm.

____________________________________________________________________

(36) Shooters Journal, April 1986. p. 3.

– 28 –

105. There is little doubt that the police are in the best

position to be used in the administration of the Firearms Act and the

registration of firearms. By their constant involvement with the

public and the community they are able to monitor firearms, abuse and

community trends in relation to the use of firearms. They are also in

a position to be able to give feed back to the Firearms Registrar and

the Firearms Consultative Committee if required.

106. In recent times members of the shooting fraternities have

put forward the motion that they should have the role of looking

after their own industry, certainly members of the Victorian Shooters

Association and the Victorian Firearms Traders have supported this

motion. To add impetus to their argument they cite the current set

up in New Zealand whereby the police maintain a background role and

allow the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council to conduct the issue of

licences.

Lack of Firearms Safety Tests in Victoria

107. Research into the subject of firearms control and

registration brings to the forefront the lack of firearm safety tests

in Victoria. Whilst other states of Australia and New Zealand

conduct safety tests on applicants for shooters licences we in

Victoria seem to shy away from it in favour of what appears to be a

pointless exercise in the registration of firearms.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Proposed Amendments

108. On research into the viability of firearms registration

and the licensing-of people to use firearms I find that there are

several areas requiring attention. My recommendations are as

follows:-

(a) The initial period of 4 years in which firearm registration

was to be phased in is not yet expired. The

ineffectiveness of the actual registration is already

proving its counter productiveness. I therefore recommend

that firearm registration be abandoned forthwith as there

are hundreds of thousands of firearms that will not be

registered.

(b) In the event of my recommendation to abandon registration

not being accepted I believe that the present

administrative arrangement of two senior police officials

maintaining control and supervising a large pool of public

service staff be continued in its present form.

– 29 –

(c) I also believe firearms safety testing in the form of

written tests should be implemented in Victoria as soon as

possible. The New Zealand system could be used as a model.

(d) The present staff involved in firearm registration or part

thereof is more than capable of administering firearms

safety testing in a similar manner to that which is

performed,— in New Zealand. Police would retain their

right to veto any person found to be unsuitable.

(e) That the police remain the administrators of the Firearms

Act in matters of policy and control but that where possible

public servants perform clerical roles.

(f) I do not see any direct benefit to be obtained by allowing

external agencies such as the Victoria Shooters Council to

be the Governing body on matters pertaining to firearms

control because of their vested interests.

Political Motives

109. The main purpose of this paper has been to examine the

viability of firearms registration and the control of the licensing of

people to use and possess firearms. I have read many articles on the

matters and interviewed several people from both sides of the fence.

Without meaning to pre-empt some of the areas under examination I find

conclusively that firearms registration is an exercise in futility. I

believe that the present registration system is a Political tool that

was implemented in order to fulfill an election promise.

Education

110. With the high rate of accidents that occur with firearms mainly

as a result of ignorance on behalf of the owner or user I believe that

it is paramount that a system of public awareness or education be

given to firearm owners and that there can be no better time than

right at the start before a person is elegible to possess a firearm.

I do not believe that tighter firearms control will reduce the number

of firearm accidents but that a better educated user will.

Police Control

111. There can be no doubt that the control of firearms should belong

to a disciplined organization with Government affiliations. The

police are in the best position to monitor activities within the

community and on that basis are the people best suited to control and

administer the Act.

– 30 –

Nov
01

Media Mileage From Big Boar Competition 2014.

Media Mileage From Big Boar Competition 2014.
Newspaper and  Radio Interviews.
Hear are just some of the articles from our local Newspaper and ABC radio we also made Channel & Brisbane and other radio interviews were broadcasted. Gympie Times said, that when the issue was put onto its website it had the most comments on any subject and 97 % were in favour of “The Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships” even the Noosa Greens candidate supported recreational hunting as the most humane method of disposing of these Feral pests. 

http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/pig-hunt-success-despite-the-squeals-of-opposition/2433360/
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/feral-pigs-gympie-plague-proportions/2273039/
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/feral-hicks-attacked/2427324/
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/fundaiser-ron-relishes-controversy-of-his-boar-hun/2431319/
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/animal-lib-picks-on-wrong-people/2416076/
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-29/pig-hunting-championships/5850862
and an old Editorial showing the necessity for the hunt in Gympie.
http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/feral-pigs-too-close-to-home-gympie-opinion/1650905/
RSPCA Lost There Way and Associate themselves with the Cretins that Stole our Banner. 
I believe that, The Queensland Big Boar Hunting Competition 2014, delivered a massive increase in public standing within the normal community. Yes, I know we could not convert the idiots, who would never allow reality, facts and figures to affect their single minded dogma, but at last pig hunters are being recognised as volunteers, effectively carrying out a public service.
Contrary to the statements of the RSPCA CEO Mr  Mark Townend,”He says the competition is a blood sport that attracts beer-swilling ‘yobbos’, and goes as far as to support a ban on amateur hunting”.

CEO of Wandering Warriors Audie Molde with the strongest drink I saw all day, Water.

CEO of Wandering Warriors Audie Molde with the strongest drink I saw all day, Water.

These people pictured below are Not “Beer Swilling Red Neck Hicks”, one of them has not had an alcoholic drink since 1974, some of these people are managing directors of companies, dentists, journalist and at least one doctor. Of course, as the event was to raise money for the ‘Wandering Warriors’ Veterans of Australia’s Armed Forces namely the SAS Association (Queensland)  some of them we should properly address them as ‘Hero’s’.

They will be telling their Grand kids about this event, the winners will never forget the $20,000 worth of prizes. Look at all those Big Boar Shirts.

They will be telling their Grand kids about this event, the winners will never forget the $20,000 worth of prizes. Look at all those Big Boar Shirts.

Farmers, Boilermakers, Shopkeepers,  all got together to achieve something that was an all round good thing for all concerned, except the feral pigs.
Beneficiaries, were the competitors who received great prizes, over $20,000. worth, agriculture land holders who had 329 pigs removed from the breeding cycle, and the Wandering Warriors who are a 100 % voluntary organisation that raises money for Veterans and their families. Over $27000 was raised from all aspects of the event and distributed to the beneficiaries.  No grants, no assistance from government, pure voluntary effort pays off.

In fact, the State Government with the assistance of our Local Government opposed our fund raising by 1080 baiting all the surrounding public land and with mis information meetings  encouraged local land owners to 10 bait their own property. This connivance was planned to put off pig  dog hunting in the local  publicly owned forests and plantations which we could have told them was a waste of money and effort anyway as this 3 day hunt had to be on land where the competitors had written permission. The other part of their plan was to poison as many pigs as possible to reduce the numbers that our recreational hunters could hand over for the scrap meat market, denying 10 cents a kilogram from the Wandering Warriors.

David Gibson MP and Ex -Councillors Shane Jocumsen announcing Winners. Hardly, Beer Swilling??

David Gibson MP and Ex -Councillors Shane Jocumsen announcing Winners. Hardly, Beer Swilling??

Petty, but it did not work,  329 pigs bit the dust and our only real enemy was the heat, during the last few days the local weather conditions built up in the 40 degree bracket. So many of the pigs that were killed went off before they could get to our refrigerated 20 foot container kindly supplied by Ross Hopper Container Hire.
Ross Hopper

Waiting for the Results to be announced.

Waiting for the Results to be announced.

In the above photos can anyone see any Beer Swilling Red Necks, I never saw a bottle of it all day. We had two dedicated photographers for the Weigh In, who kindly donated their photos and skills free of charge Jason Harelle and Jim Sweeny. Jim Sweeny made a nice comment on Facebook.
“What A Great Day , Ossie Familys Enjoyed, The Best Event I Have Ever Been To, The First Time I Saw Wild Pigs, They Reminded Me Of Oversized Rats With Their Black Hair , Certainly Not The Domestic Breed, The Hunters Were Good Young Knock About Aussies Risking Their Lives To Rid The Land Of Vermin, I Am Very Impressed With The Hunters Who Are Australias ‘Salt Of The Earth’, I Will Be At Next Year Event,  As This Is Too Good To Miss”.

Taylah Turner  presenting the Spika Double Door firearm safe for the longest Tail.  Every Tail Tells a Different Story.

Taylah Turner presenting the Spika Double Door firearm safe for the longest Tail. Every Tail Tells a Different Story.

Do they look like they were having fun?

A 60 KG Pig on a Spit donated by GJ Pigs of Widgee.

A 60 KG Pig on a Spit donated by GJ Pigs of Widgee.

Gary and Shane tireless workers on the weigh in team had to climb to the top of the Aporklepse.

Gary and Shane tireless workers on the weigh in team had to climb to the top of the Aporklepse.

Ron Owen introducing CEO of Wandering Warriors Audie Molde.

Ron Owen introducing CEO of Wandering Warriors Audie Molde.

This is what we have lurking at the bottom of our gardens, this one has been fixed for good.

This is what we have lurking at the bottom of our gardens, this one has been fixed for good.