Firearms lawyer Simon Munslow will answer your legal questions. Email him with your query or concern and we’ll publish his response here.
In the decade that I worked as an administrative and regulatory lawyer for the Commonwealth Government it was clear that whenever a review was commissioned, the outcome of the review was all too apparent before its public release, if one takes the trouble to pause and smell the wind.
Here, as mentioned last week, the terms of reference of the NSW Firearms Registry audit is so limited that the outcome is very predictable.
Often in the lead up to an audit or review, high-level management changes are evident. This is apparent in this case although movement can and often is coincidental, so I make no judgment upon the motivation behind any staff movement.
One also hears mutterings from staff about new developments and today these are often ‘techno-fixes’. Management love techno-fixes, they are suggestive of efficiency and ministers seem to love attending their public demonstration. This demonstration also provides an opportunity to issue the usual self-serving media release about how their department is taking important steps to better serve the community and enable us all to sleep more safely at night.
With the NSW Firearms Registry audit, the techno-fix is a chip on your licence and a reader on the gun shop counter.
I speculate on the basis of strong rumour that the chip reader will need to be purchased by dealers and, dear readers, one does not need to speculate who is going to have to pay for a reissued licence with a chip inside it or for its reissue every time a new chambering is added to your licence.
Of course, none of this would be necessary if the premier had not insisted on the changes to the NSW Firearms Act 1996 related to ammunition sales. Changes that even the Commissioner of Police commented in public would not stop drive by shootings.
What I want to know is will the government try to shaft the long-suffering NSW shooter with WA-style licence fee increases? Fortunately in NSW we have the Shooters and Fishers Party on the front line to help prevent this eventuality, but be prepared to get your pens and computers out and to write a complaint to your local member.
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