WESTERN AUSTRALIA KILLS NATIONAL FIREARMS AGREEMENT
THE much-vaunted National Firearms Agreement (NFA) is officially dead and buried following Western Australia’s unilateral changes to its arms laws, according to one of Australia’s peak gun lobby organisations.
In recent weeks, the Mark McGowan-led ALP state government Western Australia has announced plans for compulsory mental health assessments for shooters and banned nearly 60 types of rifle and 19 ammunition calibres.
None of the banned rifles or calibres have ever been used in a crime in Australia (much less Western Australia) and the McGowan Government has utterly refused to engage in good faith consultation with the Western Australian shooting community on any of the changes, repeatedly casting slurs at the nearly 90,000 shooters in the state as part of its laughably flimsy justifications for introducing the new laws.
Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park said the fact no-one at any level of State or Commonwealth Government seemed to have any problem with WA’s law changes very clearly said the NFA was no longer in play.
“For the past 25 years, every time anyone has suggested even the most minor, commonsense changes to state gun laws which might ease the regulatory burden on licensed, law-abiding firearm users, the anti-gun crowd have screeched about ‘watering down gun laws’ and legislators have said ‘we can’t do that, it goes against the National Firearms Agreement’,” Mr Park said.
“Western Australia has never been fully compliant with the NFA and the latest double-barrelled attack on licensed gun owners in the state by the McGowan Government means the state’s firearm laws and the NFA are, at best, nodding acquaintances.”
Mr Park said the principles of the NFA went both ways and if any attempt to make the laws better for shooters was met with outcry and resistance by politicians, the media, and so-called gun safety groups, then so too should any changes which made things worse for shooters.
“You can’t have it both ways,” Mr Park said.
“If the NFA is supposed to represent the ‘Gold Standard’ of gun laws – and it doesn’t remotely do that – then that means you can’t make them stricter just because you’ve got an irrational hatred of farming or sporting equipment.
“If we ever have another sensible, fair, evidence-based law change that benefits shooters blocked because “it doesn’t comply with the NFA”, we will be pointing out that WA’s firearms laws generally do not comply with the NFA, so therefore that excuse is invalid.
“The NFA has always been a ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ of sorts; it is not binding, it is not legislation, and as we’ve seen in WA, the penalties for completely ignoring it are non-existent.”
“There has to be some poetic justice that Mark McGowan, the most anti-gun premier in the country, has effectively killed the integrity of the National Firearms Agreement with his irrational hatred of guns and licensed shooters.”