Dear Beagle Editor, Please find attached our latest Media Release for your interest Watered Down Gun Laws In Wake Of Shooting Death NSW’s watered-down amendments to the Firearms Act NSW 1996 began on 1 September.
The changes include removing a requirement for gun owners to attend court and face a fine and/or a jail sentence for breaches of storage rules. Instead, police are now able to issue a penalty notice.
Police are also no longer required to seize improperly stored firearms and ammunition if they are "satisfied that the failure has been rectified or will be rectified without delay".
“These changes are detrimental to the safety of our most vulnerable people, our children, as was demonstrated this week by the death of a three-year-old in Sydney by shotgun wound,” the President of SAFE, Heather Irwin, said today.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said of the death:
"This emphasises how important safe storage laws are and how any weakening of our gun laws can be a matter of life and death. The law used to provide that if any firearm wasn't safety stored it was automatically confiscated, this is how the law should be. Parliament should urgently reverse these changes."
Ms Irwin also said. "Although that particular gun might not have been currently registered, it is incredible that, with the hundreds of guns stolen each and every year from licensed owners living in regional and rural areas of this State, that the Government should be watering down penalties for inadequate storage.”
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, formed after the 1996 Port Arthur tragedy, has also condemned the changes, saying:
“We believe that the NSW government should not be creating or maintaining a different set of rules for NSW gun owners, which are weaker and do not fully implement the 2017 National Firearms Agreement.”
The Foundation is also concerned with the provision for allowing arms fairs, which are held essentially to encourage and promote the purchase, trade and ownership of firearms.
Residents of Eurobodalla need to ask themselves, and their council, whether an annual arms fair in Narooma is in the interests of both community safety and the reputation of the shire, Ms Irwin said. Stop Arms Fairs in Eurobodalla Inc. (SAFE)