Rick Mazza, as he appeared in WA publication Farm Weekly, is calling for the firearms licence fee hike to be abolished with a motion of disallowance.

Mazza works to abolish WA gun licence fee hike

Shooters and Fishers Party WA MLC Rick Mazza’s inquiries into the state’s police department cost inefficiencies led to his call for the removal of the huge firearms licence fee hike suffered by firearms owners from July this year.

Mazza had identified a number of areas in the WA police’s administration of firearms licencing that were unnecessarily adding cost and this extra cost was being passed onto firearms owners through up to a 147 per cent increase in licence fees.

To combat this, Mazza had called for a disallowance of the Firearms Amendment Regulations 2013 which introduced the fee hike.

“Imagine a 147 per cent increase in train fares or motor vehicle registrations! What sort of backlash would there be from the community if that level of fee increase occurred in those costs?” he said in Parliament this week.

“Unfortunately, that increase is happening to firearm owners, who by the way are some of the most responsible, law-abiding people in the community. The number of problems among the 81,500 people who own firearms are negligible.

“They have been marginalised and I reckon they have been treated with a large degree of contempt on the basis that they do not really attract a lot of public sympathy.”

The motion was defeated, however, two Liberal members crossed the floor to support it, while the surprisingly the National Party sided with the Government in voting it down.

While disappointed with the result, Mazza said he was pleased that these issues were getting the attention they deserved.

“Matters that were never discussed in Parliament before are now being discussed in Parliament and a lot of issues that have been concerning the firearms community for a long time are now highlighted and have to be dealt with,” he said.

“The success of the Shooters and Fishers Party getting a seat in the Upper House can be attributed to the frustration of a lot of people, not only in the firearms and fishing communities, but in response to a lot of so called issues brought up by environmentalists.

“Issues such as live exports and the RSPCA’s attitude towards them that have affected farmers, and other matters that have brought out a lot of frustration in people who feel practical and reasonable solutions have been forgotten.”

The firearms licence fee hike was a point in case and a story on WA publication Farm Weekly’s website highlighted a report into the fee structure that showed that a person with a firearms licence for one of more additional firearms would be forced to pay a new licence fee of $169.50.

An increase of 133.8pc from the previous licence fee of $72.50. While that fee compared with other States such as NSW ($40) and Victoria ($9.20). The licence fee is free in NSW for primary producers and pensioners.

Under the current system, people who want to apply for a second or more firearm, need to go through the entire application process again, along with paying the same fee.

The report also showed that application information from Australia Post is then entered manually into the WA police system.

If mistakes as small as spelling mistakes occur during that process, the application needs to be undertaken and paid for again.

See more of Rick Mazza’s Parliamentary speeches here.




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