“Police Minister Stuart Nash’s belief that he still has the confidence of the gun community and that his gun buyback can succeed with $150 million shows he is completely out of touch”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.
“Nash told Mike Hosking this morning that the Government needed to retain the goodwill of the gun community. He fails to realise his Government lost the confidence of firearms owners when the Parliament treated them with complete contempt during April’s legislative process.
“The gun community could have been welcomed as part of the solution, but legislating in nine days with scant regard for the usual process of public input and parliamentary scrutiny sent a message of disdain.
“The Government risks further alienating gun owners by putting up a serious lack of funding in Budget 2019 to buy back newly-prohibited firearms, magazines and parts. The Council of Licensed Firearms Owners says more than a billion dollars will be needed to cover the gun buyback scheme, but the Government has earmarked just $150 million.
“Gun owners must have confidence that the Government will offer them fair market value for their weapons. Otherwise there is a risk that compliance with the buyback scheme will be low and firearms will go underground.
“If a significant proportion of newly-prohibited weapons are not handed in, we risk creating a black market of illegal weapons without any regulatory oversight. That may be a more dangerous world than we had prior to March 15.
“The Government needs to have the gun community onside. It now has an opportunity to treat gun owners fairly, and create a safer country, by presenting them with a fair and reasonable offer of compensation.”