Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 June 2003



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 June 2003

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Parliamentary Record 13


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 19 June 2003 Sporting shooters have made strong arguments for the five special accredited disciplines. My understanding now, as you say, is that the Commonwealth will accept only two. This will mean that, basically, that is the end of our Masters and Arafura Games shooting competitions, except for those disciplines that are still allowed, and that is disappointing. One could say to some extent this is an overreaction because, in the end, if we are trying to stop criminals from using guns, will this stop them? They will keep their illegal guns under their pillows, as we saw in the NTNews recently, probably not expecting someone to find them. However, I would imagine they certainly would not have been licensed guns. In conclusion, whilst I support national control over guns, the extent to which it has now happened, where we will not be allowed to have our five special disciplines, very much disadvantages shooters in the Northern Territory. That is very disappointing. I do not know whether the Prime Minister has left a gate open for a change, but if he has not, then it is extremely disappointing for shooters in the Northern Territory. Because of that, I cannot support this bill. Mrs BRAHAM (Braitling): Mr Acting Deputy Speaker, I know some people are rather surprised that I am speaking to this bill, because I do not normally. However, I am the Vice-Patron of the Alice Springs Pistol Club. Also, my Electorate Secretary is the Treasurer of the Alice Springs Sporting Shooting Complex, and a member of the Alice Springs Branch of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia. As well as that, I have been lobbied by a large number of the people in those clubs. It is incumbent on me to put on record their concerns. I would like the minister to give me some answers to take back to these people regarding their concerns. I understand the dilemma you are in, with pressure from the federal government. That does not mean to say that we agree with them. Certainly, the people I am talking about are good, honest citizens who love their sport, do the right thing, and yet now they feel as though they are being penalised by this bill. I am concerned that you have received notification that there will not be five disciplines allowed. This affects not just the Arafura Games, but the Masters Games in Alice Springs. I was at the club last year at the presentations, and talked to people from around Australia. They are aware that sometimes there are some clubs that do the wrong thing, but they really value the disciplines that they shoot in the Masters Games. These people are genuine, good people who understand how to look after their guns, and the security that is necessary. They feel as though they are being targeted as criminals because of the actions of a few. Minister, can you tell me: do you know of any criminal cases within the last 12 months involving a member of a registered shooting or pistol club? I would be interested to know. I believe there were four cases of criminal action with guns in the last 12 months. I am interested in whether any of those involved a member of a shooting club. The point that has been made is that no matter what you do, you are not going to be able to stop the black market; it is still there. Members are well aware that if they wish to go out and purchase a gun, they can. You will not stop the criminals who want to get a gun. You are penalising responsible people and these amendments will have significant impact upon them. There is a high level of concern about this bill amongst people in Alice Springs who are involved in this shooting sporting arena, and it is a pity that such things as the regulations were not declared before we debated this bill. We do not know the regulations that are going to be imposed. Until we know the details of the regulations, we do not know what impact this is going to have upon our sports. I proposed the amendment about fingerprinting, about which I wrote to the minister last week. I am very pleased to say that he has agreed to do that. I have already passed that information on to the club members in Alice Springs and they are delighted that you said you will withdraw the fingerprinting element. They did feel that was one thing that would make them feel like a criminal. We appreciate that, minister, and are glad that you have done that. It certainly helps. Minister, I understand that there will be an amnesty and people can take their hand guns and be compensated. However, I believe that this compensation will not apply to those illegal guns that are under the mattresses or the pillows. Perhaps you can explain why that compensation is not available to those people who have illegal guns, for whatever reason. It may not be for any illegal purpose - they may only have it because it had been passed on from family to family, or been brought from somewhere. There is no incentive for them to come forward with those hand guns if there is no compensation, so they may as well leave them in the cupboard. In the last buy-back, there was compensation for illegal guns. I have been told that by one of the dealers involved. Perhaps you can clarify that: why, in this compensation scheme, is there no compensation for the illegal ones? If you really want to get the ones 4412

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