Peter's Blog

Safety paramount in new firearms legislation

The Firearms Bill 2015 evoked a lot of interest throughout the electorate of Flinders. 

The purpose of the Bill was to address outdated sections, in an effort to improve public safety as part of a national approach.

The challenge has been to not disadvantage users, such as farmers, in the running of their business or lifestyle.

Primary production is a major component of our regional economy on Eyre Peninsula.

Many farmers and fishermen regard a firearm as a tool of trade, and that is recognised within the legislation and the licensing arrangements.

In other instances, for collectors, enthusiasts or sportspeople, guns can be a hobby and part of people’s lifestyle.

Many gun users have contacted my office regarding this legislation and what it might mean for them.

The Bill included some significant improvements to the Firearms Act, however, it also included some deficiencies.

Pleasingly, almost 30 amendments were successfully made to the Bill before it passed the Parliament – a full list is available from my office for those interested.

I am among one of 65,000 people who hold a gun licence in South Australia.

Last year, more than 200 guns were stolen in SA and therein lies part of the problem.

These stolen guns, of course, must have been in some way unsecured and have now gone into circulation with goodness knows who taking control of them.

Obviously, safety is paramount – the safety of the community at large and the safety of the individual, and that is the primary intent of this legislation.

Numerous organisations and individuals have been proactive in their involvement with this significant legislation, and I thank all constituents and stakeholders for their constructive input.

It has been an extremely long process and a lot of work has gone into it.

Despite apprehension from collectors and gun owners, we are now at a point where we have a more workable Act as a result of that interest and feedback.

Ultimately, we needed to make the Bill more readable, simpler, better able to be applied and less confusing for both gun owners and the police.




Previous Comments

  1. Hi Peter
    I have seen information on the new legislation, and agree with most of the new changes.
    I am a licencesed gun owner involved in both primary production and club/ sport use.
    My question is about your comment that ” the stolen guns must have in some way been unsecured”
    So we’re there any secured guns stolen?

  2. Peter,
    Thank you for this information, great to see the amendments, but more are needed.
    Yes community safety is at the forefront of intended legislation in respect to firearms, however there have been some major flaws introduced into the new legislation that should have been dealt with in a deeper manner before being considered for passing.
    EG: licensing & registration of non hand held large items (now included as firearms) such as deactivated field guns & deactivated aircraft or vehicle mounted guns that ammunition is not commercially produced or available. There is absolutely no evidence of these types of items ever being used to commit crime!
    Requirement to register & be licensed to own previously deactivated hand held firearms. The situation that apparently occurred in QLD that spurred this legislation into being introduced in SA will never occur here in SA as each deactivation has to be inspected by SAPOL Armoury before being passed as deactivated.
    The fees for licensing & registration are to be wavered to allow now unlicensed people to license & register their deactivated firearms, there is no mention of the ongoing cost when the license is due to expire & needs to be renewed into the future? (so there is actually a cost, just not now)!
    A lot of this is nothing more than a money grab & to serve more financial impost onto already law abiding firearm owners & enthusiasts of historic items.
    Regards Peter.

  3. The word “gun” is offensive to a Clay Target and other sporting shooters including Rifle shooters. You, Peter, do not have a Gun license . As a former farmer and If you look closely you’ll note that it’s a “Firearms” License .
    The media, Police and politicians take great pleasure in using inappropriate terminology to denigrate and exaggerate many sporting associations.
    You will know that semi-automatic firearms are restricted to only specific persons. Primarily farmers.
    I’m not a farmer, even though I grew with my family as farmers .
    I’m a registered ACTA (that means National) Coach and, until recent changes due to incurable health issues, I have been the SA Western Zone Coach for Clay Target Shooting Clubs. I forget how many years.

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