FIREARMS AMENDMENT (AMMUNITION CONTROL) BILL 2012
The Hon. ROBERT BROWN [9.08 p.m.]: I refer to the Firearms Amendment (Ammunition Control) Bill 2012, and attendant the regulation, which was passed by this House yesterday in a filthy deal between the Coalition and The Greens to do over the law-abiding firearms owners of this State. Shooters should be concerned about this new attack on shooters by the Liberals and, by default, The Nationals and The Greens. This regulation is simply a new tax of $30 on each person who now needs to apply for a permit to buy ammunition. There was no need for this regulation because there was no need for the bill. Observant members might have noticed that the regulation was dated 27 March 2012. Apparently this little fiasco was held over until yesterday to hide it behind the Federal budget media coverage. Every government acts in that way—Labor and Coalition. They dump out bad news or play politics on budget day; this Government is no different.
This regulation provides for persons holding a firearms licence to apply for a $30 ammunition permit to allow them to purchase ammunition for a firearm they are licensed to use but that is not registered to them when the person is a member of the same household as a person who has a firearm of that calibre licensed to them; or the person is employed or engaged by a person who has a firearm of that calibre licensed to them, and it is part of the first person's duties to purchase ammunition for that firearm. The regulation also provides a general power for the commissioner to issue an ammunition permit in other circumstances. The regulation provides a way for employees to purchase ammunition for a work firearm and a way for members of a household to purchase ammunition for firearms owned by other household members.
But enough of what the Government claims the regulation does do. What it does not address are the problems that will be caused, for example, when a licensed person borrows a firearm with a calibre and they do not already own a firearm with that calibre from a person who is not a member of their household and wishes to purchase ammunition for it, when a person who is driving to a remote property to hunt offers to bring ammunition with them for firearms owned by the property owner, when a licensed person who is a parent of a minor wishes to purchase ammunition for their child to use in a borrowed firearm that is of a different calibre to any the parent has registered to them, when a licensed person who chooses not to own a firearm borrows one for hunting or target shooting, or myriad other situations that have been identified to the Government but ignored.
In what appears to be something straight from Yes, Minister, the regulation imposes an additional $30 permit fee to allow already licensed persons to purchase ammunition that they are already authorised to possess under the conditions of their firearms licence. It imposes more work on the Firearms Registry, taking more money from the Police budget for administration, which means there is less available for policing. This raises questions about further costs to shooters. Will an additional $30 be required each time a member of a shooter's household purchases a firearm in an additional calibre and the permit must be amended? That is what happens to firearms owners. We were told that this bill was needed to address the drive-by shootings in Sydney's south-west.
The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: I didn't say that.
The Hon. ROBERT BROWN: That is true. This legislation does not address drive-by shootings. If the Government thinks it does, I would like to be provided with the supporting information by the police Minister or the Attorney General demonstrating that they are right and I am wrong. I do not think they will do that because they know this legislation is a political stunt rather than a genuine attempt to stop criminals shooting at each other's houses. This Liberal-Nationals Government will have to live with the fact that it is prepared to deal with The Greens on firearms legislation rather than talk to shooters, or even their own firearms consultative committee. It would have been sensible to do that before introducing the legislation.
I do not think the Premier listens to his Nationals Coalition colleagues on this issue. I assure members that we in the Shooters and Fishers Party will be making that clear to people in the bush. The Shooters and Fishers Party no longer believes the Government is prepared to deal in good faith about firearms issues. We will ensure that all licensed firearms owners are aware of this new paradigm of a Liberal-Greens coalition with regard to firearms decisions that the Premier seems to think will work for him. The Shooters and Fishers Party disagrees. In fact, we wish him good luck—and he will need it if he is metaphorically getting into bed with The Greens.
Shooters and Fishers Party
PO Box 376 Baulkham Hills NSW 1755
Tel: (02) 9686 2396
My thanks to Deerslayer for this informatiom.