NSC secures first hearing in WA gun-grab
11 July 2020|Reclassification, Western Australia Police
THE NSC IS BACK in the Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal at the end of this month after securing a directions hearing in its latest bid to overturn the latest move by WA to take guns off shooters in that state.
In early June, WAPol banned seven firearms, and added an eighth to the list a few days later.
It is the largest gun grab Australian shooters have seen in years as part of the ongoing move by registries to ban guns based on their ‘appearance’. It is a process called ‘reclassification’ or ‘prohibition’ depending on where you live.
NSC takes legal action on bans
In response to the move, the NSC filed two appeals against the reclassification of the Ruger PC Charger. It is set to be the first major test of reclassification laws since the aborted attempt by NT Police to reclassify the Savage A22R rifle.
The directions hearing in this case, which will set out how the matter is to proceed, will be held on 31 July.
Directions hearing for one of two actions launched by the NSC
We’re hoping to prove that the decision was unlawful and to ensure that the Ruger remains a category H handgun, and return every other gun that has been reclassified to its proper category.
Why ‘reclassification’ is a bad law
Reclassification is a loophole in the National Firearms Agreement which allows our registries to ban any category A, B or H firearm if they decide it ‘appears’ to look like a category D (military) firearm. The decisions ares NOT related to form, function or magazine capacity or barrel length but simply on what they think the gun looks like.
Regardless of what state or territory you are in, the application of these laws means that your gun is not safe from being taken off you if your local police force thinks that it looks too much like a military gun. Once state or territory does reclassify a firearm, other registries will be quick to move to do the same.
What makes it worse is that these decisions are being made by those who aren’t familiar with firearms and they aren’t being held accountable for their decisions.
The absence of rules around how these laws work means that there is no limit to where it might stop. Any gun that has a magazine, a scope or something else that to the untrained eye could be confused with a military appearance, could be next.
We need to make sure that doesn’t happen!
It’s time to set a legal precedence
The actions the NSC has filed are the most significant legal challenges against reclassification laws -and it starts in a few days time.
It is also a major test of the National Firearms Agreement which WAPol has cited as a key reason why it chose to ban the Ruger PC Charger handgun.
Going it alone
Prior to starting our actions, the NSC approached the SSAA WA and the WA Firearm Traders Association for their help in joining in this fight. Unfortunately our approaches were met with silence. Given this is the biggest gun grab we have seen in years in their own back yards, we hope they will change their minds as this action rolls on.
Our work will not stop there: WA has a state election in nine months time. This will be a great opportunity to emphasise the political importance of this matter to both sides of parliament, and we hope those organisations will decide to help us do that.
Your support is needed
The NSC is funding this legal fight through membership fees and donations.
Don’t let WAPol get away with it! Remember, your guns could be next!
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