Firearm legislation is not a core focus for the Australian Deer Association. It is important to us, but we tend to channel our efforts towards matters relating to game hunting, game management and land access. There are groups like the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) and the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) which specialise in firearms and we look to support their efforts where we can.
SIFA are running a campaign on an alarming issue of “category creep” coming out of the Northern Territory. Territory Police have begun confiscating Savage A22 firearms from shooters in the NT on the basis that they have been re-categorised from Category A to Category C. In a nutshell lever actions are now being treated as if they are semi-automatics on the whim of a bureaucrat. Legally obtained, used and stored firearms are being confiscated from their owners without compensation and without proper consultation. The NT Police are justifying their actions on the basis that their new ban “only” affects twenty one licenced shooters.
The community has an expectation that the private ownership of firearms will be well regulated – we share that expectation. You cannot be well regulated if the regulator keeps shifting the goalposts and re-interpreting the rules with no clear rationale and with no consultation.
SIFA has calculated that these changes will cost retailers in the NT $950,000 in lost sales.