Commonwealth Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says he wants to further restrict access to firearms, saying, “One of the things we have to do is reduce the overall number of guns in circulation.”
An on-air comment, made during an interview by ABC Brisbane presenter Rebecca Levingston on 4 April 4 regarding the National Firearms Registry, was in response to Ms Levingston’s observation that criminals don’t register firearms.
It has attracted the ire of shooters across Australia, with one organisation accusing the country’s top legal eagle of “saying the quiet part out loud”.
“We know the government is always looking for ways to take guns away from law-abiding firearms users, and now we have the Attorney-General himself acknowledging that the government is looking for ways to reduce the number of firearms in the country,” he said.
“Just because we all suspected that doesn’t make it OK, and we will continue to represent shooters at Federal level as part of stakeholder meetings with the Attorney-General’s department, where you can bet we will be reiterating the message that the focus should be criminals and not licensed, law-abiding firearms users.”
The Federal Government has confirmed it plans to roll out a National Firearms Register by the middle of the year, despite objections from firearms user organisations pointing out it is an expensive duplication of the (often inaccurate) information already held by the states and territories.
“We think greater communication between state Firearm Registries is a great idea, but duplicating the entire system at federal level is a gigantic waste of taxpayer money and will only get mired in bureaucracy and red tape anyway,” Mr Park said.
“Every shooter in the country knows how hopelessly inaccurate and outdated their state’s firearms registry information is, and I can’t see how a federal registry will be any different – except it’ll cost even more money and it will be every taxpayer in the country footing the bill.”
You can read a transcript of the interview on the Attorney-General’s website here: https://ministers.ag.gov.au/media-centre/transcripts/abc-radio-brisbane-mornings-rebecca-levingston-04-04-2023