COVID THREATS: NSC offers to fight with SSAA Victoria
6 September 2020|Legal actions, Shooting organisations
The NSC has launched legal action in relation to VicPol’s threat to take licences off shooters who are caught breaching the COVID restrictions. The shooter we’re representing is also a member of the SSAA, so we’ve written to them seeking their help to fight the suspension. It’s a case that could set a valuable legal precedent for every shooter in Victoria, and potentially nationally.
A FEW DAYS AGO, we reported that the NSC has filed an appeal against Victoria Police for the suspension of a firearms licence held by a shooter who received a fine for allegedly breaching the COVID restrictions. His alleged “crime” was to visit a friend when he should not have.
The NSC has also lodged complaints with other bodies for different legal reasons, but it’s main focus is on helping the shooter, who we will call “R”, get his licence - and the guns that were taken off him - back.
You will recall this followed VicPol’s threat to reprimand, suspend or cancel licences of registered firearm owners who breach the restrictions.
“R” is not only a member of the NSC, but of the SSAA. After we got involved, the SSAA posted its outrage at VicPol’s position. It stated:
“If any SSAA Victoria members have been threatened with losing their firearms licence as a result of breaching COVID-19 restrictions, the Association would encourage you to contact State Office. The Association is ready, willing and able to fight unjust treatment of shooters.
While SSAA Victoria supports the directives issued by the CHO and the measures implemented to keep Victorians safe during this time, the Association believes the statement issued by LRD to be ill-considered. We also believe that LRD is acting beyond its authority and power in taking such actions.
Only the SSAA Victoria has the standing and resources to challenge LRD all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. To do so, we must work with the right instance of Police acting beyond their powers and in a way not contemplated by the Firearms Act 1996. Any challenge we undertake must be convincing to the court.”
This is great news because it is easy to see this fight ending up in the Supreme Court.
So with that, we wrote to the SSAA putting R’s story to them, and inviting them to work with us to win this for members of the SSAA who are equally outraged at what has happened to one of their own, and for every other shooter who wants to see real action being taken. Here is the letter we sent.
We’re really pleased that the SSAA has taken the position it has, and its apparent willingness to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court. We think R’s case is a great opportunity to stand up for what is clearly another important legal fight for shooters in Victoria.
We’re hoping to hear back from them soon, so will let you know what happens.