Firearms Regulation and Regulator Performance
The Shooting Industry of Australia (SIFA), recognises that:
- Under the Australian Constitution, the states and territories have primary responsibility for the management of firearms in Australia.
- The Commonwealth has responsibility for international and inter-state trafficking offences and the import and the export of firearms and firearm-related articles.
- The Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group (FWPWG) brings together firearm registry managers and policy representatives from all jurisdictions and is accountable for delivering national consistency in firearm regulation.
- 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.
- The NFA is in effect little more than a national statement of regulatory intent. It is a permissive document as much as it is a restrictive document.
- There is considerable scope to improve regulatory processes and reduce unnecessary burdens for legitimate firearm businesses and lawful firearm owners without compromising public safety.
- If firearms regulations are not developed correctly, then they impose unnecessary burden and costs to businesses, fail to meet policy objectives and do not contribute to public safety benefits.
- Firearms policy and regulation in Australia should be developed in line with the COAG Principles of Best Practice Regulation and the Commonwealth Regulator Performance Framework (or the State & Territory equivalents).
- Governments should continuously seek to improve the quality of their firearms regulation to minimise the impacts of regulatory burden on businesses, organisations, and individuals.
- All firearms decision-making policies and processes must be transparent and, where possible, consistent across all Australian jurisdictions
- Prior to amending firearms regulation, Governments must conduct appropriate and genuine best practice stakeholder consultation to understand the impact of the proposed regulatory changes.
- Firearms regulators must be independently evaluated annually and assessed against agreed performance standards with the results to be made public.