National Firearms Agreement – update

We’ve got an update on the work being done ‘behind the scenes’ on the revised NFA.

Here it is ….

The group of organisations of which we are a part wrote to the Federal Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, on the 27th March attaching a copy of our analysis of the proposed National Firearms Agreement (NFA) which details changes other than those related to re-classifying lever action shotguns. (Click here if you’d like to see what we sent)

We have sought an assurance from Minister Keenan that he will ensure that state and territory governments do not use a new NFA to make changes to current laws and regulations concerning firearms.

We also sought an assurance that he would remove the obligation on collectors to destroy any firearm manufactured after 1946.

He has not replied to the letter.

Meanwhile, since the existence of these “other” changes became known, Minister Keenan, is telling a different story. The consequence is to divert attention from his commitment.

Now he is saying that the NFA is not binding and that the states and territories can choose to do whatever they like.

This position sits uncomfortably with those shooters who remember the financial pressure that former Pm, John Howard, applied on some states to accept the NFA in 1996.

It is at odds with Howard’s claim that the 1996 gun law changes were one of his greatest achievements, a reminder of which was his speaking at a fund-raising function for an anti-gun lobby during the Adler controversy.

It is also contradicted by some states at least which justify their decisions with respect to firearms policy in the name of the NFA. A recent example is the tabling of the NFA by the Weapons Licensing Branch of Queensland Police in a Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal case to justify their decision.

Now there is a suggestion that extra changes were included in a document which was accepted by either a meeting of police ministers or COAG in November or December last year. There was no discussion or consultation about these changes.

If this document were presented to a meeting, it would be interesting to know if all the people who attended the meeting were aware of these extra changes and if discussion about the document was limited to changes affecting the classification of the Adler.

If this suggestion were true it would mean that Minister Keenan continued to give his commitment to limit the changes to the NFA months after they had been presented to a meeting of police ministers or COAG.

Governments honouring commitments is an issue which goes beyond firearms policy. While we have become accustomed to politicians saying one thing and doing another it does not mean that we should accept it. Governments need to be held to account for commitments they make.

Every shooter and collector needs to ensure that the federal government knows that we expect it to honour its commitment that the only changes to the NFA will be those related to re-classifying lever action shotguns.  Even then we do not believe lever action shotguns should be reclassified, but that’s another issue which will be fought separately. We’ll be posting more information on this soon.

  1. They just will not stop coming for our firearms. The appearance laws are a joke also. We’re being dictated ridiculous legislation by complete morons who want to harass and vilify. They want to keep the guns out of the hands of crooks, yet our politicians prove time and time again that they aren’t much better than crooks with their lies, deceit, taxpayer funded rorts and mismanagement of basically everything whilst raking in hefty paycheques. Pathetic!

  2. “Howard’s claim that the 1996 gun law changes were one of his greatest achievements”
    I have to agree with Howard on that one point the achievement that stands out above all is the fact that Australians had never heard the term “Violent home invasion” until Howard disarmed so many and made it impossible to defend our homes, families and selves.
    Thugs no longer have to consider the possibility of being confronted with a gun when they choose their target

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