Media release sent to NT media today

As part of our efforts to fight the NT reclassification of the Savage A22R, this release went out to several media outlets in the Territory today:

GIVING the Northern Territory Police Commissioner the power to unilaterally reclassify
sporting firearms on a whim is literally the stuff of a police state, says one of the country’s
leading pro-shooting organisations.

Then-Acting Police Commissioner Michael Murphy declared in the NT Government Gazette
earlier this month that “linear repeating firearms with assisted ejection” were reclassified from
categories A and B (available to all licensed shooters) to categories C and D (heavily restricted
and essentially banned, in the latter case).

Shooters Union Australia slammed the recategorisation, which was carried out without
consultation or reference and caught shooters and their representative organisations alike offguard.

President Graham Park said the first anyone heard of the recategorisation was when an
Territorian shooter received a letter in the mail a few weeks ago advising him that his Savage
A22R .22 rifle had been reclassified into a more restricted category as a result of a declaration by
Acting Commissioner Murphy, and he would effectively have to dispose of the rifle as a result.

“We wrote to Acting Commissioner Murphy and Justice Minister Nicole Manison more than a
fortnight ago requesting an explanation of this unilateral recategorisation and nothing has been
forthcoming,” Mr Park said.

“It’s the sort of thing you expect to hear about happening in the Soviet Union or East Germany
during the Cold War, not the Northern Territory in 2019.

“Needless to say, we and our members are not at all happy and want the declaration nullified

Mr Park said while he was of the understanding the declaration referred to lever-release firearms,
the wording was unclear and the potential was there for deliberate misuse or over-reach.

“No-one in the Australian shooting community had ever heard of the term “linear repeating
firearm with assisted ejection” before and it is so vague as to potentially encompass most
manually operated repeating firearms,” he said.

“And that’s without getting into the fact these lever-release guns pose no public safety risk, are
Category A and B in literally every other jurisdiction in Australia, and have never been used in a

Mr Park said the situation was extremely concerning and had very serious implications for all
Territorians – even those who were not firearms users.

“The police being able to decide laws on their own is a clear breach of the fundamental principle
of the separation of powers,” he said.
He called on the NT Government to intervene and reverse the recategorisation, and then amend
the Firearms Act to remove the police commissioner’s powers to reclassify firearms into higher

“Who knows what other legislation there is on the books that lets the police make their own rules
without oversight?”

“This is a dangerous precedent with far-reaching consequences, and it needs to be fixed


The Katherine Times has picked up the story:


Ill put a letter in to the NT news, and have sniff around the local clubs.

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Thanks! That would be a big help. The more people kicking up a fuss about this, the better.

So any more news on topic?

Unfortunately we don’t have many NT members

I was asking @ShootersUnion - like are we done… Or are there more avenues to explore.

There’s a few more avenues to explore but we really need some of our NT members (or shooters in the NT in general) to get involved, because a lot of what we could do would be more effective with people “on the ground”.

What are you doing to mobilise them?

For a start, sent a letter to literally every NT member I could find in our membership database, personalised with the details of their local MP and some pointers on how to write to said MP and protest this change.

Also sent a media release to all the major media outlets I could source contact details for in the NT - the Katherine Times picked up the story too.


I am not hiding my deep passionate loooove for other shooting associations, but… Have you guys tried reaching out (because we all know they never will) and asking them to forward your letters to their members?

We are talking to one of them, but it’s not the one you think. :slight_smile:

Just asking :slight_smile:

Heheh I see who you were talking with, someone with at least some weight. Noice.

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So what’s happening here, @ShootersUnion. Dead in the water or is there hope?

Nothing is happening at the moment because everyone is on holidays, but the NT Government has also completely refused to engage with anyone on the issue, as far as I can tell.

Did you excepted something else? Main and specific question, is: is something being done, other than usual waste of paper or emails, as the case may be? That is, something actionable, excluding “write a complaint”?

Legal avenues?

I’m not entirely sure how viable they are, unfortunately - the way the NT legislation is written, recategorisation is a discretionary power so may be outside a Civil Administration Tribunal’s realm (as the case is in Queensland).

I do know there’s some discussion happening (that I’m not privy to) looking into the feasibility of legal action, but I simply don’t have any information on it at the moment - such as what that might be, on what grounds etc - and can’t get it for a couple of weeks because most of the country is effectively on annual leave until sometime in January.