Position Statements

Data Driven Firearms Policy

The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA), recognises that:

  • The underlying policy objective of firearms regulation in Australia is to ensure public safety and to facilitate the safe and responsible possession, carriage, use, registration, storage, and transfer of firearms.
  • All Australian Governments recognise the importance of using data to better understand and respond to the needs of Australians for improved government service delivery, to inform government policy development, to evaluate program success, and to support research and development.

Key messages:

  • A major failing of Governments in Australia has been not generating the data needed to properly evaluate their own programs, and to inform policy.
  • With a few notable exceptions (primarily restricted to the criminal misuse of firearms) very little firearm and shooting industry related data is collected to enable the evaluation of effectiveness of regulation and to inform policy.
  • There is a complete absence of any objective, independently collected and evaluated longitudinal data which validates Australia’s claim to having “world leading gun laws”.

SIFA position:

  • Ministers must compel their regulators to include appropriate and adequate supporting data in all firearm related policy and regulatory advice.
  • Shooting industry stakeholders must be given access to all supporting data which the regulator has relied upon as part of a best practice consultation process.
  • A competent authority needs to be funded and tasked with identifying (or generating) and then aggregating all firearm related data.
  • A competent authority needs to be funded and tasked with undertaking the ongoing assessment of the aggregated firearms data and routinely publishing those results with the view to better inform policy and to improve existing firearms policy and regulation.

References:

  1. Commonwealth Firearms Information Booklet
  2. www.datacommissioner.gov.au
  3. PM&C Best Practice Consultation Guidance Note

 

 

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