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More Work Needed To Get Arms Law Right

A proposed law making it possible to ban gang members from being near firearms highlights the problems with the changes to the Arms Act over the last two years, says the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO).

Earlier today COLFO Chair Michael Dowling appeared before the Justice Select Committee to speak on the Arms (Firearms Prohibition Orders) Amendment Bill (No 2).

Dowling told the Committee that while the Bill is well intended, it would compound many of the problems already present in the Government’s Arms Legislation Act.

He said the proposed law creating Firearms Prohibition Orders would be easily and unwittingly violated by people. People subject to an FPO would be barred from being near firearms.

“To avoid breaking a Firearms Prohibition Order a person would have to ask every time they entered a building whether there are firearms present.

“This is impractical, unrealistic and in some cases dangerous.

“Firearm licence-holders will be put in a tough position: they may consider it dangerous to reveal to family or friends under an FPO that they have firearms, but if they don’t, those people could be prosecuted.

“Licensed firearm owners have in place strict security measures as part of their licence requirements. People that are unlicensed should not be able to access legally held firearms even if they are in the same location.

Dowling says that while COLFO is supportive of the efforts of the politicians and Police to crack down on the illegal use of firearms, laws need to be carefully considered or else they risk harming the communities they aim to protect.

A copy of COLFO’s submission to the Justice Committee is available here.

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