“The Government has once again shifted the goalposts on licenced firearms owners with just 22 days remaining in the failing gun ‘buy-back’”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
Two Orders in Council were made by the Government on Monday and announced only yesterday. One rule change bans drum magazines, another affects the ‘buy-back’ and compensation.
“Police will now request proof of ownership or purchase before providing compensation, and compensation for large quantities of prohibited parts and magazines will consider how much is ‘appropriate’ for personal use.
“Parliament’s approach to firearms law reform was already haphazard, characterised by a complete absence of consultation and inadequate compensation.
“With these last-minute changes, how can law-abiding firearms owners have confidence in the fairness of the process? It is no wonder so few people are engaging with it.
“In an admission that the ‘buy-back’ is failing badly, the Government has also allowed firearms owners who are applying for exemptions or modifications to be legally protected beyond 20 December 2019.
“While this is a welcome development, the need for an extension shows the Government and Police do not have the trust of the firearms community.
“If it was serious about public safety, the Government would start again on its law changes, listening to experts and the firearms community.
“A strong ACT, at the heart of the next centre-right government, will ensure that law-abiding firearms owners get a fair deal.”