NSW Firearms Registry to review police classification of firearms 

The NSW Firearms Registry has announced it is forming a working party to overhaul the way the state categorises firearms, a move welcomed by the gun industry after long complaining about inconsistencies and the fact that many firearms legal elsewhere in Australia are banned in NSW.

The new Firearms Classification Working Party (FCWP) will oversee a comprehensive review of NSW Police firearms classification practices, and will development a firearms classification framework.

Critically, NSW Police have actively sought involvement by firearms industry representatives for the initiative.

Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) CEO James Walsh has been appointed as one of the FCWP’s members.

The group will have its first meeting at the end of May and Mr Walsh said SIFA’s main goal was using the forum to work with NSW Police to “highlight inconsistencies and demonstrate the negative impacts of those inconsistencies”.

“The top of our list will be trying to get consistency on appearance-based controls,” he said.

NSW’s appearance laws, which ban firearms purely because they resemble police or military-issue semi-automatic or full-automatic longarms, have long been an issue, with numerous firearms arbitrarily banned in NSW under the laws.

“Time and time again, these inconsistencies have led to certain firearms being prohibited in NSW when they are available to be owned and used by appropriately licensed shooters in all other states and territories in Australia,” Mr Walsh said.

The Australian-designed and made Genesis One straight-pull rifle, for example, is banned in NSW both on appearance grounds and because it has an adjustable stock – despite the rifle looking absolutely nothing like any real-world military or police issue firearm – while the Sulun Tacsoras lever-release shotgun is banned because of its similarities to the Benelli M4 semi-automatic shotgun.

Mr Walsh said NSW was leading the way with its firearms industry engagement and listening to industry concerns, and was optimistic about the working party contributing to positive change for the state’s firearms industry and shooters alike.

“We look forward to working with them [NSW Police] and other industry representatives over the coming months on this incredibly important project,” he said. 




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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.