What the hell is going on in WA this year?
So far we’ve had the transportation of firearms and ammunition being restricted, Shot Show being shut down then only re-opened after intense pressure, the ridiculous Firearm Prohibitions Orders being enacted and now we have the “Very Powerful” debacle.
This from Firearms Lawyer Ross Williamson:
“WAPOL are at it again – targeting law abiding, licensed firearms owners for no good reason.
This week they have been revoking licenses and unlawfully seizing .50 calibre rifles from people and dealers in Western Australia. So far four people have had their licenses revoked but that number is expected to rise.
The police do not want ‘Very Powerful Firearms’ (this is the phrase WAPOL uses to describe any rifle capable of hitting a target at over 1000m) in the hands of ordinary citizens.
To our knowledge, every shooter affected is appealing to the State Administrative Tribunal. I am hopeful that pro-liberty parliamentarians will ask questions in parliament about this resource wasting attack on law abiding citizens. Now they are arguing in the SAT that station owners don’t have the right to sign property letters!
Meanwhile, the criminals steal, bash, rob, burgle.”
Where do you begin with this level of authoritarian stupidity?
Firstly, when it comes to firearms legislation it’s not and should never be about what Police want unless it’s to do with criminal misuse of firearms. They’re entitled to their opinion but it doesn’t automatically carry more weight because of the uniform and government pay cheque. Put the Police Commissioner up for public vote if they feel so strongly about getting involved in the legislative process.
There is nothing in the WA Firearms Act that even alludes to “Very Powerful Firearms”. To suggest that anything that shoots over 1000 metres as a reason to confiscate a firearm is ridiculous – this covers essentially most rifle calibres. This also opens the door to the usual incremental seizures of everything else. It’s .50 cals now, then .338, and so on – we’ve seen that movie too many times.
How many of these .50 cals are being used in crime in WA? The answer is a big fat zero.
It’s also incredibly hypocritical of WA Police to be doing this and parading around their new “very powerful” AR’s, as if they are the only people that can be trusted with them.
However, it’s not just the calibres that WAPOL are targeting and it appears they are also trying to shut down ranges in WA. Liberal Democrats’ MLC Aaron Stonehouse took Police Minister Michelle Roberts to task in State Parliament:
Underwhelming from Milquetoast Michelle, but not surprising from anti-firearm Labor.
In short, this saga is both unaccountable bureaucrats and WA Police taking matters into their own hands, making up the law as they go along and citing non-legally binding policy as doctrine – a complete abuse of power. This behaviour also builds further distrust between Police and the firearm community, if there wasn’t enough already.
This also re-affirms the notion that bipartisan, incremental civilian disarmament is the end goal, that most Police know very little about firearms and, in many ways, are not an appropriate agency to be involved in administering the Firearms Act. If you’re in any doubt, see our current action against Queensland Police and the Wedgetail WT15.
Conduct like this further strengthens the case for a Firearms Ombudsman or an independent committee to oversee this kind of, quite frankly, corrupt behaviour when it comes to firearms in Australia.
Pull your heads in WAPOL. Stick to going after hardened criminals and illegal firearms and you’ll get our support.
Conduct like this just makes us want to tell you “very powerfully” where to go.