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




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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 So how can you say, on the one hand that the aim of it is to take guns out of the system, when your legislation says they all have to go. You are not going to take any guns from this particular person because why would he get rid of nine guns? If he wants to keep one, he will keep the 10. If you were really serious about what you say, you would say that any gun voluntarily surrendered, if it is in a prescribed form, will attract compensation. Your provision deals only with all firearms being surrendered. There is another point I would like you to clarify for the sporting shooters of the Territory. In subparagraph (3), not only do you have the provision requiring all of the guns to be surrendered, you say that if they surrender it, they are penalised by losing their licence for five years. There is an immediate ... Ms Lawrie: Will they take the money? M r MALEY: If you can read, and not just squawk ... Ms Lawrie: I can read - loser! M r MALEY: There is a loss of a category H sports licence for five years from the date of revocation. Minister, how can you say with clear conscience that this provision is really aimed at taking more guns out of the system, when it not only penalises innocent and legitimate gun owners, it puts a restriction on them owning any firearms for five years? M r HENDERSON: Mr Chairman, the member for Goyder has it wrong. If you look at the headline clause here, this is talking about the voluntary surrender of category H firearms - voluntary. There is no compulsion here ... M r Maley: Yes, I agree with that. M r HENDERSON: ...and the policy aim is that, the way the buy-back was originally structured without the Prime Minister accepting fully funding the voluntary buy-back before, at the moment if you have guns of 38 mm and above they were not going to be exempt; that is, the single or western action or metallic silhouette. Anything else you have to hand in, and be compensated for; it is a mandatory compensation. Those weapons will be illegal post- this legislation coming into effect. There was a requirement, regarding compensation, to compensate. If you then want to re-register your single or western action - you do not want to have it bought out, you are allowed to have it - that would be registered under the new requirements, if you meet the criteria. For the .38 mm calibre weapons that you have, you will be registered to be allowed to have those guns again, if you meet the criteria. Therefore, the only weapons that could be purchased back, without this reform, were the .38 mm and above that were not exempt; that is, the two exemption clauses. This allows for somebody who voluntarily wants to exit the sport in its entirety: That is it, I pack up. I do not want to be a member of a sporting shooters club any more; I do not want to participate in events any more. I have these categories of guns across calibre ranges - some .38 mm and above, some below. I can be fully compensated. So, it is a forward step, not an regressive step. For those people who voluntarily want to cease being a sporting shooter all together, and not to shoot again - I want to exit the sport - under this provision they will be compensated. The policy rationale is: we want to reduce the numbers. This is going to get some out of the system that otherwise would not be compensated and, as a result of not being compensated, I suppose there is the temptation for some of those guns to either go under the mattress or find their way on to the black market. That is the rationale. It is about a voluntary buy-back for people who want to exit the sporting shooters scene all together - cease being a sporting shooter and a member of a registered club, and just basically get out and take the opportunity now, while they can be fully compensated. M r MALEY: Minister, I understand that example and the policy behind it, but can you just clarify subparagraphs (2) and (3). Are they specifically what the Prime Minister requested you pass through this parliament in accordance with the COAG agreement? Or are they something that you have relied upon the advice of your department and drafted yourself? Are they specifically what was required? M r HENDERSON: Mr Chairman, my advice is that, yes, this does meet the PMs and COAGs requirements. The PMs office has not drafted the legislation, but the advice is this meets the rationale. M r MALEY: Does it go further though, than what the ... M r HENDERSON: No, no. I do not think it goes further. We are talking about the voluntary action of an individual sporting shooter holding a firearms licence, who, as a result of these changes says: It is all too hard. I am only a marginal shooter, I do not participate that often. Remember, these changes will be made nationally and there have 4431

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