Submission on Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill

The Bar Association has recently submitted on the proposed  Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, And Parts) Amendment Bill. It supports the Bill but submitted that it contains flaws which must be addressed.

These include:

  1. the definition of “semi-automatic” is not sufficiently precise;
  2. there is no clear definition of a “bona fide collector”, and guidelines for assessing what constitutes a bona fide collector;
  3. there should be a limited exemption for farmers to use semi-automatics to cull animals on private land; 
  4. the surrender process in the Bill does not produce an amnesty from prosecution and is, therefore, unlikely to encourage surrender of assault rifles; and 
  5. the proposed s 54A offence should be removed and considered within the context of the Crimes Act 1961.

The submissions set out the historical background to assault rifles, before explaining how a 2013 Order-in-Council allowed assault rifles to become readily available, and then addressing the specific problems with the Bill summarised above. If you want to know what went wrong and how we got to the stage, read the submission.

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