After an 18-month period that included multiple rounds of consultation and many meetings in Canberra with Assistant Minister Jason Wood and The Department of Home Affairs, SIFA is pleased to report that improvements we have been campaigning for to the Prohibited Imports Regulations 1956, will come into effect on the 15th of December.
Of significant note, SIFA has also successfully overturned a proposed amendment within The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment (Firearms and Weapons) Regulations 2021, that would have categorised “self-ejecting manual loading, repeating action shotguns” as schedule 6, item 3 (equivalent NFA 2017 Category C – Semi-Automatic Shotguns) in the Prohibited Imports Regulations.
SIFA highlighted the inconsistencies with this proposed categorisation and the NFA, as well as the unintended consequences of capturing other shotguns by using the definition “self-ejecting, manual loading, repeating action shotguns”. We are pleased to say that the Minister listened to SIFA!
In announcing the reforms, the Department of Home Affairs has stated:
“In response to feedback from the firearms community, key changes have been made to lower controls on ‘self-opening repeating action shotguns’ to ensure that this shotgun:
- is described so it does not unintentionally capture other shotguns currently subject to import controls;
- is controlled as an item 2 article where it is without a firearm magazine or fitted with a firearm magazine with a capacity of not greater than 5 rounds, and
- is controlled as an item 6 article where it has a firearm magazine of more than 5 rounds. “
This now means that from the 15th of December, ‘self-opening repeating action shotguns’ with a magazine capacity of 5 or less are now permitted for import into Australia as a Category B shotgun.
Other key changes that SIFA successfully campaigned for on behalf of the Australian Shooting Industry include:
- allowing firearm parts classified under Item 2B of Part 2 of Schedule 6 to be imported on the official purposes test and specified purposes tests, meaning that importers that have a Home Affairs Permit for firearm parts under Item 2B do not also require a B709 Police Certification for these items.
- enabling greater opportunities for firearm and weapon-related research and development.
- resolving issues relating to the importation of firearms and weapons for supply to government for law enforcement or defence purposes.
A copy of the Regulations can be found at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2021L01761