Position Statements

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.

Key messages:

  • 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.

SIFA position:

  • 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.


  1. https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/criminal-justice/files/commonwealth-firearms-information-booklet.pdf
  2. https://pmc.gov.au/ria-mooc/coag/principles-best-practice-regulation
  3. Regulator Performance Framework PDF
  4. Best Practice Consultation Guidance Note (pmc.gov.au)

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