Police Minister Bob Wiese today commended the agreement between the States on uniform national gun laws as a major step forward to help safeguard the public.
Mr Wiese said the national gun plan - which bans automatic and semi-automatic firearms - would further strengthen Western Australia's already tough firearm legislation.
"This national agreement will see the other States raised to the very high standards of firearm safety already in practised in WA," he said.
"The national gun laws also make provision for the strict control of mail-order firearms which has been a major concern for WA police for many years."
Mr Wiese said the agreement would make provision to prohibit the importation, ownership, sale, re-sale, transfer and possession of:
all military style centre-fire rifles including those which duplicate military styles;
all other self-loading, centre-fire rifles;
all self-loading and pump action shot guns; and -
all self-loading rim fire rifles.
Mr Wiese said the importation ban would be effective immediately.
He said the new uniform gun laws were tough measures and would focus on those people who did not have a genuine reason for owning a semi-automatic and self-loading shot gun.
Under the agreement, primary producers can only have access to low powered self-loading .22's and self-loading and pump action shot guns if they can satisfy the Commissioner of Police their requirement for that weapon is essential to eradicate vermin.
The Minister said compensation would be paid to all those people who surrendered their firearms as a result of the national agreement.
"Prime Minister John Howard will be contacting State Premiers on the compensation issue next week with the details," he said.
"In addition, all firearms will be registered nationally and there will be a comprehensive approach to firearm licensing to ensure only those people who are fit and proper with a genuine reason and need for a firearm will have access to one."
Stringent storage requirements and compulsory training for first time licensed applicants will be introduced in all jurisdictions.
Media contact: Mark Thompson 322 2311