Why the NSW Firearms Registry is wrong on firearm deposits

In the past few days, we received information about a new interpretation the NSW Police are applying to the NSW Firearm Act, which, if we’re not careful, could be applied elsewhere.

The short version is this: NSW police have threatened a gun dealer with supplying firearms to customers without permits to acquire, on the basis it took deposits from them.  We’re also advised the dealer has been threatened with being charged for “every gun he has accepted a deposit for”.

As many of you will know, accepting a deposit for the sale of a good or service is an element of ‘contract law’.  It means that a legal relationship to buy a product or service has been established, but doesn’t mean the good or service has, or even will, be supplied.

The Registry’s view is interesting, but wrong.

The NSW Firearms Act only prohibits a person from ‘acquiring’ a firearm without the relevant permit to acquire.  “Acquire”, under the NSW Firearms Act, means “accept or receive supply of”.

The fact is, a firearm will only be “supplied” once the full amount has been handed over and PTA provided.   To suggest it is supplied when a deposit is paid is reinterpreting what the Act says.

Our advice to the NSW Registry is that – if the story we’ve heard is true – it needs to get some independent legal advice.

In fact, we understand the Registry advised one chap who enquired about the policy with them, that the new interpretation is “being aimed at terrorist and black-market suppliers”.

However, that is not stated in the Act nor in any parliamentary documents or policy documents held by NSW Police.   They’re making it up.

Guidance material on the NSW Police’s website titled “How to purchase a firearm” suggests that you only need a permit to acquire to “complete” the transaction.

We hope they’ll clarify their position soon.

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  1. Lets expose the brains behind this proposal.
    Watch them cower down.
    PS election year even better

  2. How about a question in Parliament

  3. The head of NSW far has a history of making up his own rules. He needs to be fired

  4. I agree Bruno,lets just see how green they are while we are at it.

    Q “being aimed at terrorist and black-market suppliers”.EQ

    Yes that lot certainly go through the gun registry of course as they are law abiding!

  5. That sort of “logic” is straight out of a Monty Python sketch.
    I can’t believe anyone could be so ridiculous.
    . . . . oh . . . wait . . . yes I can !

  6. Andrew Chattington

    The same happens in Victoria and not just for firearms. The trend seems to be that policy trumps legislation. It doesn’t and never should.

  7. They are lying to throw us off.

    Keep the pressure on.

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