The relentless attack on law abiding firearms owners to slowly water down what the definition of a legal firearm continues. The Tasmania Police will soon release a new set of guidelines that will see some guns removed from their owners if they do not fit the right appearance.
When the driving force on firearm policy comes directly from the police. LAFO’s end up with unworkable and useless guidelines such as “appearance” being forced upon them with no consultation.
In the draft document detailing the changes, any gun that resembles in appearance a machine gun or rapid-firing weapon would be banned from the state.
After assessment, this could be extended to any gun with a pistol grip, fore-end shroud, detachable extended magazine shroud, or skeleton, folding or adjustable stock.
Police Minister Rene Hidding said the guidelines would provide clarity to existing state firearms legislation.
Gun clubs and dealers contacted by Fairfax Tasmania on Tuesday said they were unsure what impact these guidelines might have upon them.
Shooters and Fishers Party of Tasmania vice-chairman Matt Allen said the regulation had always existed within the Firearms Act but had never been enforced and regulated due to it being overlooked.
He said now any firearm that was modified to only look like a military firearm would be banned in the state.
Shooters and Fishers Party of Tasmania vice-chairman Matt Allen
“Our belief is that the restriction should be on the action of the gun, not what it looks like,” Mr Allen said.
Mr Allen said many gun manufacturers released skeleton stock these days so users could modify a particular weapon to their needs.
He said people with disabilities and older shooters could be disadvantaged through being prevented to modify firearms appropriately to their needs.
Hunting enthusiast Peter Darke said gun owners had been sent a letter about the new guidelines five months ago and given scarce information since.
He blamed the disbandment of the Tasmanian Firearms Consultative Committee three years ago for gun owners not being kept well enough abreast of firearm regulation developments.
“If we had retained that, at least there would be a forum to discuss these things,” Mr Darke said.