Economic Policy Scrutiny Committee Inquiry into the Firearms Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 November 2019
Tabled paper 1423
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Tony Sievers
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Department of the Legislative Assembly
Inquiry into the Firearms Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 28 3.51 Although the heading of proposed section 49ZA refers to the sale, disposal or return of firearms surrendered or seized under this Part there is no reference to this Part in the body of the section. As a consequence, the section could be interpreted as applying to any firearm in the NT that has not been subject to forfeiture or is no longer required as evidence. 3.52 The Committee sought clarification from NTPOL regarding the wording of this section and was advised that: The intention of section 49ZA is that it is to be limited to firearms and items seized or surrendered under Part 8A. Section 49ZA is not intended to apply to any other firearms or firearm related items. In earlier versions of the draft Bill, section 49Z and 49ZA were one section. An unintended consequence of the section being split into two sections is that section 49ZA does not have a reference to this Part in the body of the section. We note the reference to this Part was included in the title of section 49ZA and the explanatory memorandum confirms that section 49ZA is to apply to firearms and items seized or surrendered under Part 8A.39 3.53 The Department further advised that they would support an amendment to achieve greater clarity in the application of proposed section 49ZA.40 Committees Comments 3.54 The Committee is satisfied with the advice from NTPOL and has recommended that proposed section 49ZA be reworded to ensure the intent is clear. Recommendation 6 The Committee recommends that proposed section 49ZA be amended to clearly indicate that the Commissioners power under proposed s 49ZA(2) only relates to firearms or firearm related items that have been surrendered or seized under Part 8. Intent of proposed s 49ZA 3.55 The NT Firearms Council commented that the effect of proposed s 49ZA(2)(c) is to extinguish a persons ownership without any form of compensation or recourse. They recommended that proposed section 49ZA(2)(c) be amended to require the Commissioner to make reasonable attempts to comply with subsections 49ZA(2)(a) & (b) prior to exercising his or her powers under subsection (c).41 3.56 The Committee sought clarification from NTPOL as to the rationale for including different options for the sale, disposal or return of firearms as set out in ss (2). In relation to ss (2)(a) and (b) NTPOL advised that: The Commissioner is likely to direct an owner of a firearm or firearm related item to sell or otherwise dispose of the firearm or firearm related item in the situation where a lawful owner of a firearm or firearm related item is served with a firearm 39 Northern Territory Police Force, Responses to Written Questions, p. 9, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP 40 Northern Territory Police Force, Responses to Written Questions, p. 10, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP 41 Submission 4 NT Firearms Council Inc, p. 2. https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP