Victorian shooters unhappy with NFA changes


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Poor decisions are made when there is no consultation with the main stakeholders. Kath Sullivan from The Weekly Times reportsVictorian shooters fear changes to the National Firearms Agreement could leave regulation of lever-action shotguns to the states.

The Combined Firearms Council of Victoria said it was unclear if the recently updated NFA would be binding for all states.

“Justice Minister Keenan has now written to the Queensland Firearm Dealers Association confirming that the NFA is in fact optional,” CFCV president Bill Paterson said.

“We’re very worried; it’s very strange because when the minister says this is not binding on the states, it’s not what the preamble (to the NFA) says.”

The CFCV claimed the updated NFA could mean classification of the lever-action shotguns, such as the Adler, would be the responsibility, or option, of state governments.

Mr Paterson said “hidden changes” in the updated agreement included removal of junior licence categories and tougher arrangements for firearms owners.

“If you made a mistake (as a firearms owner) there’s a long list of things that are punitive,” Mr Paterson said.

The letter from the Mr Keenan to the Firearms Dealer Association of Queensland said the updated NFA represented the consensus of the federal and state and territory governments.

“It is up to the states and territories to determine whether, and how, the will regulate firearms in accordance with the updated agreement,” the letter said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Keenan said regulation of firearms in Australia had always been the responsibility of state and territory governments.

“The review was not about targeting law-abiding firearm owners, but rather focusing on simplifying the agreement and ensuring that it remains current and relevant today,” the spokeswoman said.


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