Firearms legislation to increase safety

Released 02/01/2017

The safety of Canberrans is at the core of new legislation introduced to the Legislative Assembly today by Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman.

The legislation will tighten rules around gun storage, allow for the strictly-regulated use of suppressors (silencers) by certain professionals and also outlaw disguised weapons, such as credit card knives.

“The ACT Government’s priority has and always will be the safety of all Canberrans. The legislation introduced into the Assembly today is an example of this government’s continuing commitment to safety across the ACT,” Minister Gentleman said.

“Our firearms legislation strikes a balance between ensuring public safety and respecting the valid uses of firearms by licensed and legitimate firearms users.

“There are many valid uses for firearms in the community, including target shooting, pest animal management and farming.

“These activities allow shooters to make a valuable contribution to the community and economy,” Minister Gentleman said.

The Bill will authorise the possession and use of suppressors for certain occupations under strict circumstances.

“These circumstances include for conservation officers and veterinary surgeons to euthanise injured fauna, such as native animals or livestock that have been hit by a car,” Minister Gentleman said.

Firearm storage requirements will be amended for category A and B licence holders who possess more than 10 firearms to require them to store their weapons in a metal, brick or concrete safe.

Legislative changes in the Bill will also make it possible for ACT firearms licensees to store their weapons in NSW if they work there.

“The Bill will give the Firearms Registrar the ability to allow people to store their firearms in NSW, making storage and transport requirements easier for these Canberra residents.

“This includes ACT residents who work on rural properties in NSW. The amendment will mean they no longer have to transport their firearm to and from work each day, should their applications be approved by the Firearms Registrar,” Minister Gentleman said.

This Bill was developed following recommendations made by several stakeholders, including the Firearms Consultative Committee, ACT Policing, the Rural Landholders’ Association and ACT firearms manufacturers.

“These stakeholders share a strong interest in ensuring that the operation of firearms and prohibited weapons legislation remains relevant and workable,” Minister Gentleman said.

“The government, together with these stakeholders, is committed to ensuring that our legislation reflects the underlying principle in Australia’s firearms regulation that owning and using a gun is a privilege conditional on the overriding need to ensure public safety,” Minister Gentleman concluded.

Other amendments in the bill include prohibiting weapons disguised as innocuous items such as credit card knives.

- Statement ends -

Section: Mick Gentleman, MLA | Media Releases

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