WA Police have gone off the reservation in the last 18 months with regards to anything firearms related.
The ‘very powerful firearm’ debacle, the transport issue, the attack on Ella Valla station, etc among a slew of other incidents that have revealed a distinct anti-firearm culture within WAPOL and Firearms Licencing.
Now WAPOL want to follow in NSWPOL’s
“WA could follow New South Wales and rewrite its gun laws to prevent people with mental health problems and histories of family disputes getting a licence.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts this week confirmed she had asked Police Commissioner Chris Dawson for advice about an overhaul of NSW’s firearms legislation to see if WA should adopt similar changes.
In a revamp that has been described as the most significant of its kind at a State level, NSW will apply more stringent checks on a person’s mental health when applying for a gun licence.
This could include requiring GPs or other medical experts to report to police when a person with an existing firearms licence shows signs of risky behaviour.”
The article pretty much reads as a spruik for WA Police to adopt these laws.
Put simply, these proposals are ridiculous, not to mention a privacy breach.
One only has to look at the MyHealth Record fiasco to know how much of a disaster the proposal is. How are WA Police going to obtain private medical records from a number of private health care providers and keep that information safe, when their own registry can’t do that already? The answer is they can’t, particularly when they were mailing out licences to the wrong addresses.
Further, “mental health” is a vague term in itself. There’s a difference between a fully functioning adult with a mild bout of managed anxiety or depression, which would also realistically rule out a lot of serving Police, to a full-blown schizophrenic who likely should be institutionalised. Who defines what is a precluding condition?
This proposal will also further discourage those with issues from speaking out or getting help, if the consequence of having their personal property confiscated should be a potential outcome.
The issue of domestic violence is also a grey area. It already is the law that an IVO subjects you to a 10-year exclusion period on firearms. Given that knives are clearly the choice of weapon in domestic violence incidents, it’s easy to argue that this really makes little difference. There’s also plenty of vexatious domestic violence claims made by ex-partners to have their firearms taken away – how will this be addressed?
Ultimately, it does absolutely nothing to stop the use of illegal firearms.
The red flag laws in the US have essentially been used as a form of pre-crime and this is essentially how they will be used here if brought in.
Call it for what is is: just another excuse to further civilian disarmament and confiscate firearms.
WA Police and Firearms Licencing need to get their house in order because they are becoming more of a farce every day.