The West Australian reports that the state's Police Minister is calling for gun laws to be simplified to make it easier to acquire firearms.

WA police minister calls for simpler gun rules

West Australian Police Minister Liza Harvey has recognised what she described as “bizarre anomalies” with the state’s gun laws, according to a report in The West Australian.

The report says that Ms Harvey had indicated she supports the idea of streamlining the process of acquiring firearms by addressing issues with the licencing legislation, and the following is the remainder of the report as it appears on the West Australian website.

The remarks were in response to complaints from Joondalup Liberal MP Jan Norberger that the recreational shooters “unanimously feel they are viewed as a public threat” because of difficulty getting firearms licences.

Mr Norberger criticised one regulation preventing the licensing of a firearm if the police commissioner believed it to closely resemble a prohibited firearm, saying “opinion is a poor basis for the application of law”.

The regulation was also illogical, because “if a person were to walk around a shopping centre with a firearm, the average shopper would be scared irrespective of what colour it was or if it had railings on top,” he said.

Mr Norberger also criticised licences for gun club use preventing holders from hunting on private property, saying “either a person is deemed appropriate and safe to use a firearm or not”.

Mrs Harvey told Mr Norberger he had raised “a number of what I view as bizarre anomalies in the way processing is done”, but said it was not the fault of WA Police, which issued licences in accordance with the Firearms Act 1973.

“Therefore, it is my view that in order to make firearms licensing processes more efficient and meet the expectations of the WA community, we need to make legislative changes and modernise the Act,” she said.

Mrs Harvey said it was a “problem” some licences could not be issued until the applicant stipulated which particular property they would be hunting on, and that she accepted other licences were held up by long delays.

She said Attorney-General Michael Mischin had arranged for the Law Reform Commission to review the Act from March and encouraged recreational shooters to make their views known to Government.

The State Government has come under pressure in its second term to make firearms licences easier to get and cheaper.

Liberal MP Murray Cowper has criticised licence and registration fee rises of between 13 and 147 per cent from July 1 and Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Rick Mazza, elected in March, has pursued the issue.




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