NSC launches action on VicPol’s COVID-19 licence threats
2 September 2020|Coronavirus, Legal actions, Victoria Police
The NSC is about to uphold shooters’ rights …
The National Shooting Council has launched legal action against Victoria Police’s latest threat to discipline, suspend and cancel the licences of firearm licence holders who breach any COVID-19 restrictions.
NEWS that the Licensing and Regulation Division of Victoria Police (LRD) threatened to discipline, suspend or cancel firearm licences for even minor transgressions of the current COVID restrictions in Victoria has spread across our industry like wildfire – and been met with real anger.
Within hours of the announcement, we met with our barrister to discuss the legal validity of LRD’s actions and seek a legal opinion on what could be done. The good news is that there is a real opportunity for us to test the legal boundaries of what the police think they can do - and hopefully put an end to antagonising threats like this.
Several MPs and organisations weigh in
Several MPs and shooting organisations have also expressed their disdain at the shoddy move by VicPol that clearly target even the most law abiding shooters.
The MPs who have spoken up are NSC Member, Tim Quilty, Bridget McKenzie, Jeff Bourman and Bev McArthur, and the organisations that we have seen speak up so far are SSAA Vic, Shooters Union Australia, Field & Game Australia and the Vintagers.
NSC files legal action
The NSC has just filed proceedings to help a shooter who has had his licence suspended under the threat of cancellation get his licence and guns back. At this stage we don’t wish to name the shooter, but “R” is a young tradie whose only ‘crime’ was to visit a mate in July contrary to the directions during the Stage 3 restrictions. Yes, it was a breach - but it is hardly a hanging offence.
R then had the local police come around and take his three guns off him, even though he has not yet received a fine for what he is alleged to have done !
We’ll have more to say about the action it is taking shortly, but someone needs to hold the police to account - and that’s what the NSC is about to do!
Want to help?
This is going to be a big fight for shooters who are sick and tired of VicPol’s attacks on shooters because it has the potential to draw boundaries of what is relevant to keeping a licence.
It comes only weeks after VicPol shut our gun shops down on equally dubious grounds, including doing so without proper legal clearance and the famously false ‘National Cabinet’ claim that was later picked up by several national papers.
What you’re seeing now, is an even more amateurish behaviour by a regulator that needs to be the opposite. That’s why we’ve drawn a line in the sand.
If you want to show your support the action, then click here to become a member today!
(… and in case you were wondering, the NSC’s legal action in Vic on the gun shop closures and in WA on reclassifications are still ongoing. We should have some news on these in the next fortnight)