In the lead up to the Victorian State election on November 26, the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia has called upon both Labor and the Coalition to commit to removing appearance-based firearms controls in Victoria.
During the recent debate in Parliament over Jeff Bourman’s Bill to remove firearm appearance laws, Government and Opposition Members asserted that despite their opposition to this bill, they would either address this issue in the future, or support a differently worded Bill.
Labor members speaking against the bill clearly declared that advice on matters such as this, is sought from committees such as the Victorian Firearms Consultative Council (of which SIFA is a member), and from the newly proposed VFCC Legislative Sub-Committee.
It was stated that “…this change that is being proposed by Mr Bourman will be one of the many matters that will feature on the agenda at some point of both the committee and the subcommittee “.
The contribution to the debate on behalf of the Opposition was made by the Whip, who commenced by stating that appearance-based controls were an intangible, and that firearms classifications should be based on objective criteria.
He further went on to announce that they would be opposing this Bill due to concerns over the way it was drafted, but then conceded they were “…fully appreciating and recognising the legitimate concerns of the shooting community that firearms should not simply be reclassified based on what they look like”.
SIFA immediately jumped on these assertions, highlighting that they are now a matter of public record in Victorian Hansard, and we have moved to ensure that both sides formally uphold and stand by what they have supported and advocated for on the floor of Parliament!
In seeking commitment, SIFA has requested that as soon as practicable after the election, both the Government and Opposition work in consultation with the shooting industry to chart a path forward, on this, and other legislative reform that will assist our industry to grow, prosper and provide further economic benefit to Victoria.