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