COVID LIES: VicPol misleads shooters and minister
19 September 2020|Gun law administration, Victorian Government
Victoria’s Police Minister has now also been misled by VicPol
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT the story about VicPol’s Covid 19 licence suspensions and our young tradie was over, the story has only grown.
In this update:
- Our tradie, Riley, gets his licence back – and is over the moon;
- We’ve got another story about a farmer who was threatened with losing his licence over COVID;
- We’ve got more proof that shooting organisations have been lied to by the Victorian registry, the Licensing & Regulation Division of VicPol;
- This has been reinforced by the state’s minister’s office and by some of our own
Story 1: the tradie
You will recall the story about the young tradie, Riley, who had his licence suspended and was threatened with cancellation of licence for visiting a friend to get help to fix his car a few kms from home, contrary to the COVID restrictions during Stage 3 lockdown – when the NSC stepped in.
We helped Riley write a written submission to LRD as to why his licence shouldn’t be cancelled and filed an appeal with the Firearms Appeals Committee. We were about to lodge a major action in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, when the registry gave up and has now returned his licence .
Riley’s now happy to be named now for obvious reasons.
In fact he’s over the moon. He recently posted on our Facebook page which has given the NSC its biggest membership surge since we started. Riley was a SSAA Vic member. Here’s what he said:
“it’s good to see these guys standing up for shooters unlike SSAA who didn’t wanna bar of my situation”
Riley is not alone. Several shooters were targeted for far less. The NSC has other cases and has worked hard to prepare and fight those cases as well if we need to!
What makes things worse is that LRD, has been telling shooters and shooting organisations that they are only going after shooters who have committed more serious offences.
They recently gave the Victorian Firearms Consultative Committee, which a number of organisations sit on, and other shooting organisations, the examples of shooters who went hunting against the restrictions and one who had had a firearm on the backseat of his car (a loaded Glock). Fair enough – we can’t help those shooters.
Case 2 “P”, the farmer
“P” is a farmer who lives in the Melbourne area but has a farm in country Victoria.
P and his wife had been engaged in what is called a ‘permitted activity’ and were driving up to the farm from Melbourne to feed and care for their animals regularly. Last month P and his wife were stopped on their way to their farm and turned back to Melbourne. Both were issued COVID-19 fines each $1,652, totalling $3,304.
P intended to contest their fines, but the police withdrew his fine before he could even lodge a request for review. His wife’s fine has not yet been withdrawn but we’re confident that this can be fought.
Despite the fact the fine got withdrawn , P received a letter from the Victorian Registry advising that it had reviewed his suitability to hold a firearms licence and that “the incident has been noted and any future adverse actions may result in a further review of his suitability to hold a firearms licence.”
In other words, P got a warning letter as punishment for a fine that the police issued by mistake.
The Victorian Firearms Consultative Committee
As we said earlier, the Victorian Firearms Consultative Committee, which is chaired by Labor MP, Paul Edbrooke, has been told by Victoria Police that this sort of thing does not happen.
LRD are also saying that to other shooting groups who have asked questions about COVID-19 fines and the impact this may have for shooters licences.
Well, it does happen and we have the paperwork and evidence to prove it. The NSC’s stands by its claim and is more than willing to produce the evidence in any court or tribunal.
LAST WEEK, we posted publicly our letter to the chair of the FCC alerting him to what was happening and requesting an urgent fix to the problems.
In response we got back a letter from one of the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Lisa Neville’s advisors who told us that the FCC meeting “left all parties satisfied” . Clearly they have been fed the same lie.
The NSC has seen a letter from the President of the Victorian Firearm Traders Association to its dealers that echoes that advice. Here is that letter:
You be the judge. The NSC has clear evidence to the contrary and it is our view that those who attend the FCC or meet with the LRD, treat with caution what they are told and need to keep their guard up.
Sadly for their own reasons, other shooting groups have gone out of their way to attack, belittle and attempt to discredit the NSC.
One shooting group that has seen through all of this and supports our efforts is the Shooters Union. We confer with them regularly and both groups are working well together.
As many of you know, we’re gearing up for a bigger fight with a Supreme Court injunction to try and stop VicPol and we would like to single the SUA out for their generous donation of $500 to the fighting fund.
Also we thank those of you who have generously contributed with donations to the fighting fund. Your response has amazed us, especially in these tough times when we know so many are doing it tough on JobSeeker or JobKeeper, and with your help we have reached our fundraising target.
Thanks guys & gals!
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