Labor (with the help of the Greens) and the LNP have yet again conspired to sell out firearm owners in Australia.
The 2017 Firearm Amendment Bill, which can be read here, has passed the Victorian lower house without any kind of consultation with firearm owners as usual. The bill is still yet to be debated in the upper house. The bill includes the dreaded and authoritarian Firearm Prohibition Orders.
The Combined Firearms Council of Victoria have made a helpful video overview explaining the ins and outs of the laws which we recommend you watch.
Many things stand out, for instance, more dictatorial powers for the Chief Commissioner to cancel a licence:
“The Chief Commissioner may make a firearm prohibition order only if the Chief Commissioner is satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so—
(a) because of the criminal history of the individual; or
(b) because of the behaviour of the individual; or
(c) because of the people with whom the individual associates; or
(d) because, on the basis of information known to the Chief Commissioner about the individual, the individual may pose a threat or risk to public safety.”
This is the exact provision that David Dunstan encountered in New South Wales and we know how that turned out.
“In the public interest.” Ah yes, that old chestnut that is never defined. Does that also include shooting members of the public carrying toy firearms at Swingers Parties?
You know what’s not in the “public interest?” Victorians unable to protect themselves from ongoing violent crime, of which the Andrews government has done 4.5/5th’s of nothing about. But Police Minister Lisa Neville and Victoria Police have absolutely no answers for that and as you can see, their only recourse is to double ban things they’ve already banned.
An example of which includes a new “specific offence” for drive by shootings. Yeh, that will really show those crooks that will get bail that they can’t catch in the first place.
There’s also the guilt by association part of the Firearm Prohibition Orders:
“112O Offence for individual to whom a firearm prohibition order applies to enter or remain on certain premises . (1) An individual to whom a firearm prohibition 30 order applies must not enter or remain on any of the following—
a premises on which a person carries on the business of being a firearms dealer (within the meaning of Part 3);
(b) a shooting range; 5
(c) a handgun target shooting club;
(d) a firearms collectors club;
(e) a shooting club;
(f) a place where a handgun target shooting match is occurring; 10
(g) a paintball range or place at which paintball activities are carried out;
(h) a premises where firearms are stored;
(i) a prescribed premises. Penalty: 50 penalty units or 12 months 15 imprisonment.
(2) Premises that may be prescribed for the purpose of subsection (1)(i) are premises where the presence of an individual to whom a firearm prohibition order applies”
And then there’s the warrantless search powers – the absolute worst and most draconian parts of the amendments. To top it off, your options for review should you find yourself the subject of a Prohibition Order at VCAT are increasingly slim.
To sum up, the bill is one giant authoritarian fantasy for the Victorian Government and one giant Charlie Foxtrot for everyone else.
To be honest, would you expect anything less from a “ban everything” Labor government? This is also three weeks removed from Daniel Andrews’ infamous “civil liberties are a luxury” remarks, where Dan is more interested in curtailing freedoms in exchange for virtue signalling on Facebook. But as we’ve seen in the voting, Matthew Guy and the Liberals are just as bad.
This bill is purely designed to deflect attention and blame away from the, quite frankly, piss poor performance by Police Minister Neville, Victoria Police and the Victorian Judicial System in addressing Victoria’s obscene violent crime wave and it’s failure to protect the public. They’re too busy telling the public to just be compliant in the face of home invasions.
In reality, all this backdoor gun control legislation will do is create further distrust between the public, the Police and state government and do absolutely nothing for public safety.
All the while, armed criminals in Melbourne will continue laughing between their next home invasion and next bail hearing.