SA set to force shooters to buy new safes, dob in their mates

Shooters from South Australia are about to face new regulations which will require them to, among other things:

  • buy new safes;
  • dob in mates who may not store their firearms properly; and
  • conduct referee checks for new members of their clubs.

The proposed Firearm Regulations 2017 (SA)

The proposed SA regulations, which run for nearly three times the number of pages than the current ones, are a major rewrite in what looks like a concerted push nationally to make life more difficult and costly for shooters.

If these regulations become law, they are likely to become a template for the regulations being drafted in Victoria which come into effect next year.

What the regulations say

The proposed new regulations run for 96 pages.

Toss out your new safe. Fork out a few hundred dollars

The new regulations will outlaw safes many Cat A firearm owners have now.

Gone will be the hardwood or 1.6mm steel safes.  Safes in the home will need to have steel walls at least 2mm thick and doors 3mm thick.

If your safe is in the garage, the minimum you will be able to have is a safe with 3mm plate thickness all round.

All safes will need to have at least a 3 point locking system (which basically means it needs to have one bolt which goes up, and another one go down).

For those of you with more than 20 firearms, you’ll need to install a CCTV system OR alarm monitored by a private security company approved by the Registrar.   If you have more than 35 firearms, BOTH requirements will need to be satisfied.

This will not only add costs to some gun owners, but shooting clubs as well.

Dob in your mates

S90 of the new regulations will require you to dob in your mates if they don’t store their firearms or ammo properly.

If you don’t do this, you could be fined up to $2,500.

Applications to become club members

Applicants for membership to your club will need to provide the details of two referees.

S71 of the new regulations will require an office holder to have “personal contact” with those referees.  Whether “personal contact” means “in person” isn’t clear – but the point here is that joining a club in South Australia is about to become similar to going for a job interview.

The new regulations contain many other new provisions which we haven’t listed here – but you can download the regs in full by clicking here.

Who was consulted?

The SA government has a Firearms Focus Group, but it is treated with contempt.

In the words of one member “Isn’t this really a reflection on the poor policies and procedures of previous governments and SA Police?”

Minister for Police, Pete Malinauskas wrote to the group late last year inviting comment, but the document sent to them was prepared by Parliamentary Counsel.  This is significant because it means the consultation is well past the policy stage and only concerned with minor changes.

In other words, SA shooters have been left out of the loop.

What you can do

These regulations are not law yet and the minister is seeking input. However once this is done, it is likely he will be asked to approve the regulations by his department.

These regulations pose serious issues for shooters in SA.  They could also form a template for Victoria, whose own regulations need to be remade this year.

While it may be too late to make major changes, the SA government can extend the old regulations for a limited amount of time while which would be enough time to propose something more acceptable.

This is where you can help.  Even if you aren’t in SA, help us stop this  – for their sake, and ours.

Send an email to Minister Malinauskas by clicking here ( before Monday 20th February when submissions to the Minister close.

Here are some suggested words:

Dear Minister

Proposed Firearms Regulations 2017

I refer to the above.

The proposed regulations will add significant costs, mandatory reporting and other obligations on South Australian shooters.  They demonstrate a lack of engagement with the shooting community.

The regulations are overly prescriptive and will cause significant damage to the South Australian shooting community, and the positive contribution shooting makes to the state.  They regulations are based on assumptions which have not been tested with the shooting community.

For example there is no explanation of why new storage requirements, which will cost South Australian shooters more than $10m (not taking into account the financial impact on gun clubs), are required. Nor is there any explanation of why club membership should become more difficult to obtain, when the opposite should be encouraged.  There is no explanation of why mandatory reporting is required or what the benefit is likely to be.

The risk with the approach your department is taking is that it is asking you to act on advice which hasn’t been subjected to any form of public input or transparency.  This exposes you to risks which, as minister, you should not accept.

Shooters would welcome the opportunity to be properly engaged with the making of new, effective regulations, but will need your personal commitment to make that happen.

In the circumstances, I urge you to abandon the draft regulations, and extend the existing Firearm Regulations 2008 for 12 months until the SA shooting community has been properly consulted.

Only then will you have a policy instrument you can have confidence in.

Yours sincerely


Thank you for helping your colleagues.  It’s important we all do what we can to help every shooter, at a time when regulations around the nation are clearly orchestrating a push against us all.

Join your industry colleagues

In a few weeks time we’ll be holding the second Victorian Shooting Industry’s Forum, which is open to all associations, clubs and shooters. 

We’ll update you on what’s happening around the traps, and what your industry is doing to address it.

Don’t miss it. It’s the first time anyone has attempted to develop a whole-of-industry approach to our problems – and set a future direction for us to head off our future challenges.

Click here to grab your ticket now!  It’ll be a great day.  unch is included.

Leave a comment ?


  1. YOU Shooters, 4WD’ers and Anglers keep “voting then in”! If you vote Labor or Liberal, you’re MAD.
    Chris Hodge, Chairman SFFP – ACT

  2. Done and sent ,on anothernote vote for your sport not the majors as they don’t know their arse from their mouth!,

  3. If there is a provision in the legislation which requires me to dob in a mate … well … that’s never going to happen … and since I’m disregarding one part of the legislation, fuck it … might as well disregard the rest of it … Stupid legislation makes for more non-compliance … time to take myself out of the loop and go outlaw!

  4. Its happing in Tassie all ready they are clamping down on law abiding citzens and going softer on the crims bloody joke and dobing in a mate your bloody kidding just push it further down so people are scared of their friends just hand in your guns now.

  5. So instead of mandatory 5 year jail sentence for stealing or attempting to steal a firearm, lets make the law abiding pay the price!!!

  6. Email sent

  7. We have to maintain the rage. This continual attack on our sport and those tools which we use for both work and hobby never seems to cease. Once this particular fight is over there’s another 5 more we have to be part of. Don’t let our shooting mates in other states have to fight this out by themselves. Let’s finally get some unity and fight together. I’ve had enough of the bullying and harassment of these bureaucrats and I refuse to take it lying down anymore.

  8. …dob in a mate, how totally UNAUSTRALIAN.

  9. This is crap we have the toughest laws in the world it is time they were relaxed its the illegal firearms that do the crimes and its not the gun that kills its the dick behind so it is time they stop picking on us honest guys.with the way the country is going it is time every one had rights to bare arms

  10. Same old problem with Australians we whinge but do nothing if this was America there would have been riots in the street
    Also our so called arbitrators just allowed this to happen they just kept telling us to write emails and complain but was it ever used in discussing the cost to a legitimate sporting community
    I believe we need to have a union that will work for all shooters and not associations with little power. If all license shooters were united we would have a lot of power (like in America) to put pressure on polys with voting numbers

  11. You’re kidding? The article was 100% correct. We read the proposed regulations and reported on what we saw. The outcome of the consultation seems to have resulted in changes to the proposal, which is what you are referring to.

  12. I am so sick of the media and politicians pushing agendas and distorting the facts to suit them and appease certain public sections. Why dont they release and publish the data in which they decided to use to attach firearms holders such as How many guns are stolen per year and from which states, how many illegal firearms are imported, how many illegal firearms are found in SA versus the other states, how about publishing some facts about all the good firearm users and the people that are doing the right thing. Criminals will continue to be just that, they will still get firearms regardless, whats their excuse going to be when none of us have firearms but there are still plenty of illegal ones on the street. More importantly, how about a bit more self reporting on how many breaches the government departments are having on their own misplacement, incorrect disposal and theft from their own departments in which those make up large numbers of the firearms on the streets.

  13. They say gun related homicides are down which follows the tight regulation, however the weapon of choice today is a knife. I agree that the anti gun lobby and politicians who probably wouldn’t know one end of a firearm from the other bur use the gun homicide stats to further their cause, I ask why are they mostly silent when it comes to knife murders

  14. just completed latest application for gun licence in the TAFE course they stated stats for accidental deaths in aust 222 falling of ladders and roofs 53 poisoning and guess what 12 from fire arms accidents LOOKS LIKE WE ARE GOING TO ALL HAVE TO HAVE A LICENCE BEFORE WE CAN BUY A LADDER

  15. The registered Gun Owners are EASY TARGETS.
    The unregistered Gun Owners are NO TARGETS

  16. Lets face it was the police that caused 1996 and involved 2 states VIC and Tas they are parsing the buck so their shit don’t stink well one day there will be a inquiry and no one will be found accountable they government will just sweep it under the rug it is wrong that this takes officers awat from real police work and using as them tax collectors while they are doing these jobs the crimes are getting away

  17. Completely agree with Geoff but it wasn’t the police alone and thats the real reason why there was never a coronial inquiry and there have some well respected members of the community that have asked why not???, and not just you usual conspiracy theorists, the fact is the gun hating Priminister of the day broke the law but NOT having an inquiry as that IS the law when 3 or more people are murdered and as i remember it not a sole questioned him and he got away with it, and until there is a nation wide outcry to have one thats the way it will stay

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