The recent David Dunstan fiasco and it’s “resolution” raised many questions over the legitimacy over using firearms for self-defence.
One of the main things to come out of the incident was NSW Nationals MP John Barilaro moving to launch an inquiry in to NSW’s self-defence laws. It isn’t just Dunstan’s case that has come up recently. A farmer in NSW who shot a thief on his property and was not charged and another woman awaiting trial for pointing a shotgun at trespassers on her property late at night are two recent cases of note.
Senator David Leyonhjelm also weighed in on the topic on ABC Radio Illawarra:
Now, you may recall the letter NSW Police sent to Dunstan after they decided to be the lesser authoritarian and give him his guns back:
This is completely incorrect from NSW Police as there is nothing in the NSW Crimes Act 1900 Section 418, that prohibits the use of a firearm for self-defence:
So, we contacted NSW Police about a month ago for clarification. This was their response:
As you can see, a complete deflection.
So we decided to escalate and get Troy Grant’s clarification. This is what the NSW Police Minister came back with via the Justice Department:
The Justice Department have made some tenuous extrapolation here and haven’t really addressed the question. In layman’s terms they have said, “yeh you can’t buy one for the purpose of self-defence but yeh you can legally use it to defend yourself in self-defence in a reasonable circumstance.”
Just because it wasn’t able to be granted for the purpose of self-defence, doesn’t mean it can’t be used for self-defence in a reasonable circumstance, as the Dunstan and Teralba cases have both essentially proven. The Justice Department have really outdone themselves with this leap of mental gymnastics.
So, if it is a legal defence to use a firearm in self-defence but it is not legal to obtain one purely for the purpose of self-defence, what is the point of the genuine reason criterion?
We know the answer from authority is the same old “muh public safety” but legally speaking our understanding on the basis of the Crimes Act is that there is nothing preventing you from using a legally owned firearm from protecting yourself in a life threatening situation.
If John Barilaro wanted to make the Nationals’ relevant again, he would fire that inquiry up as soon as possible and get to the bottom of this quite frankly, stupid, state of affairs regarding self-defence in NSW, and indeed, Australia.
We have followed up again with NSW Police and Troy Grant for further clarification.