Reclassification: WA legal fight rolls on

RECLASSIFICATION: WA legal fight rolls on

5 October 2020|Reclassification, Western Australia Police

Despite the lack of support from the West Australian Firearm Traders Association and SSAA WA, the NSC’s fight against the prohibition of several firearms still continues in the WA State Appeals Tribunal.

During September, WAPol and the NSC each made submissions on why the reclassification should or should not be allowed to continue.

WAPol’s argument is a technical legal point over the right of the SAT to hear the matter. Essentially, WAPol is arguing that the decision it made is not reviewable by the SAT – and that Parliament intended for them to be able to prohibit any firearm they wanted.

The NSC has argued against that, and raised other arguments including the validity of the instrument that prohibited the Ruger PC Charger under s11 of the WA Firearms Act. It has also argued that the officer who signed the authority that WAPol used to reclassify the firearms did not have the authority to do so.

WAPol realises it has a problem

The directions hearing was held on 25 September. WAPol sought a two-week adjournment to ‘amend’ the prohibition notice, which seems to be a recognition by them that there is a problem with the notice and are hoping to simply correct that mistake.

However we don’t see how they can do that given that the validity of the notice is what this matter is about. The notice is what the WA industry has been relying on and there seems to be common ground on a error that could ultimately be good for our argument.

WAPol was given the extra time after which we will have a further two weeks to respond to whatever they put up. It will be interesting to see what they do now, and how the SAT will deal with a retrospective attempt by WAPol to “backdate” to correct their error.

The next directions hearing in the SAT will be held on 23rd October 2020.

Vic gun shop case ends

On a slightly somber note, the action we took on the closure of gun shops in Victoria has ended. We fought this case long and hard with many hours of work and over the course of three hearings.

The Firearm Appeals Committee ruled that it no longer had the power to review the original decision as our gun shops were able to, and continue to be, open.

We could take the matter to VCAT, but without the support of the Victorian Firearm Traders Association, believe that there are other legal fights that we are better off investing in.

We’d like to thank Adrian, our applicant in the Vic gun shop matter, for his help through this and all the NSC members who supported us. We’ll be doing what we can to help promote his business when the Victorian restrictions ease.

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Good work guys!

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