Bob Wiese

Bob Wiese


    Commitment to uniform national gun laws reaffirmed

    17/07/1996 12:00 AM



    Police Minister Bob Wiese today reaffirmed Western Australia's strong commitment to uniform national gun laws.


    "The creation of a national system or registration of firearms and licensed shooters in the banning of high-powered semi-automatic weapons are issues this State has been advocating for more than 15 years," Mr Wiese said.


    "It is an agreement that will see other States working towards the high standards of firearm control already in practice in WA."


    Mr Wiese was disappointed at the Prime Minister's stand on not allowing the modifications of some semi-automatic shot guns along with Queensland and Northern Territory Police Ministers.


    The Minister said the modification of the shot guns had been initially proposed to assist those clay-target shooters - like women, young people, the elderly and disabled - who used those semi-automatic shotguns because of the significantly reduced recoil compared to a conventional shotgun.


    "These people, who are responsible firearm owners could be severely penalised in the pursuit of their sport in which they have been participating for many years," he said.


    "To achieve international level, clay-target shooters need to be participating with access to the same firearms as their overseas counterparts and it is pleasing that the Prime Minister has accepted in principle the need to address this issue."


    Mr Wiese said the final decision on the modification issue would rest with the State Cabinet which would consider the matter on Monday. Both the Northern Territory and Queensland Cabinet would also consider the modification issue on Monday.


    "At this stage the State Government has the legislative responsibility for firearms and for the implementation and administration of the proposed national uniform gun laws," he said.


    Other recommendations resolved at the conference include:


    + agreement has been reached on procedures for administering the firearms amnesty compensation regime including valuation procedures. A full list of valuations for the most common firearms that will be prohibited will be soon released publicly;


    + firearm dealers and importers will be entitled to apply for compensation for any loss in the value of their businesses caused by the prohibition of certain firearms;


    + a new regime to regulate heirloom firearms and collectors' firearms has been agreed upon; and -


    + Ministers agreed in principle to examine further the question of access to Category C shotguns for a restricted class of clay-target shooters in order to ensure effective representation by Australian competitors in Olympic, Commonwealth and other recognised national and international events.


    Media contact: Mark Thompson 222 9595