Yesterday I met with the registrar heads at Licensing and Services Division – Victoria Police. The reason for the meeting was to discuss a number of issues brought up by the Victorian shooting community.
Obviously one of the major items on the list was the COVID breach fines and apparent loss of license. We have tried to stay fairly quiet on the issue since it was brought up, till we had all the facts.
As we suspected, all breaches are a case by case basis. If a breach has occurred by a licensed firearm owner a suitability review is undertaken. Sometimes the outcome of the review will result in a suspension and show cause notice. This just means the license holder just has to submit an explanation to LRD. To date (this obviously may change) no one that has received a cancellation from their suspension.
As was put to me, once your original license check is done, you are not considered fit and proper for life, if you come under police notice, suitability reviews may need to be done.
Our only criticism here is there are cases with aggravated circumstances and/or prior history. We believe that they should be listed alongside the COVID breach on a suspension/show cause notice.
Other relevant notes from the meeting are
- The variation of handgun shoots to zero for the 2020 calendar year is sitting with the Chief Commissioner
- Cat C for clay target shooters will not have any action taken if they do not meet the minimum required shoots for the 2020 calendar year. There is going to be no official variation.
- The Ruger PC Charger 9x19mm will not be prohibited/reclassified. LRD are satisfied that it meets the requirements for both a handgun and handgun competitions. They would like to remind Victorians that altering a firearm is offense and putting a chassis on it is considered altering the firearm and will change the category of the firearm.