Firearms regulations in NSW are being updated and Stop Arms Fairs in Eurobodalla Inc. (SAFE) has taken the opportunity to propose improvements around access to and storage of such weapons.
The fact that this shire hosts an annual arms fair and hunting festival means local residents have a particular stake in issues around public safety and the possession and use of firearms.
Moreover, gun theft is a serious problem in regional NSW. According to the Sydney Morning Herald*:
682 firearms were reported stolen in NSW during 2013/14 and 724 in 2014/15. Most of those guns were stolen in rural and regional areas from homes or rural dwellings.
Most firearms stolen in NSW over the two-year period had been either category A firearms, such as hunting rifles available for recreational shooters, or category B firearms such as general hunting shotguns.
SAFE has proposed changes to the Firearms Regulation which would strengthen the laws around failure to comply with safe storage requirements for guns.
SAFE has also recommended that:
people convicted of serious offences against animals be included among those prohibited from owning a firearm; and
the requirement for clubs to submit an annual return about their compliance activities be retained. *Sydney Morning Herald, 29 November 2016 Media Release