Gun industry “locked out” of talks as government ignores PM’s policy guidelines

The Australian government is acting with “total disregard” for its own policy guidelines by failing to consult with the firearms industry, according to shooting representatives who are demanding change. 

The peak body representing the Australian shooting industry, the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA), is calling on the Commonwealth Government to “practice what it preaches”. 

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet recently released a Guide to Policy Impact Analysis document, intended to “inform Australian Public Service policy making, ensuring that advice to government is accompanied by robust analysis, data, and an accurate overview of the effects of proposed policies on our community”.

SIFA has been quick to point out the fact these principles are almost never applied to anything relating to lawful firearms ownership, use or industry, and that needed to change.

SIFA CEO James Walsh noted the new Policy Impact document explicitly noted that:

  • Policy makers should consult in a genuine and timely way with affected businesses, community organisations and individuals, as well as other stakeholders, to ensure proposed changes deliver the best possible outcomes for Australia.
  • The information upon which policy makers base their decisions must be published at the earliest opportunity.

SIFA and a number of other shooting organisations have been attempting to engage with the Commonwealth Government and its bureaucracy following the recent Prime Minister’s announcement that National Cabinet had agreed to implement a national firearms registry.

“However, in total disregard of the government’s own principles, the industry has been locked out, with no genuine consultation being offered, raising the alarm that no consideration is being given to the potential impacts that firearm policy changes will have on Australia’s $2.4 billion-plus shooting Industry,” Mr Walsh said.

“Any change to firearms policy in Australia has the potential to greatly affect the Australian shooting industry and the hundreds of small businesses around Australia that are an integral part of Australia’s economic landscape, and contribute over 19,500 jobs across the nation. 

“By failing to consult with Australian shooting industry stakeholders, the government is depriving itself of expert industry advice and real-world feedback on how the industry operates. 

“They are also in direct contravention of the principles espoused by the Prime Minister’s own department.”

A number of the major shooting organisations, including Shooters Union and SIFA, have publicly questioned the need for a Federal Firearms Register, pointing out the Australian Firearms Identification Network (AFIN) has existed (and been well funded) for almost a decade now, and that state registries already have the ability to share information with each other.




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Royce Wilson

Royce is something rare in Australia: A journalist who really likes guns. He has been interested in firearms as long as he can remember, and is particularly interested in military and police firearms from the 19th Century to the present. In addition to historical and collectible firearms, he is also a keen video gamer and has written for several major newspapers and websites on that subject.