The ongoing saga in Tasmania has taken another twist with another appeal coming for Cat C firearms to be rightfully opened up for sports shooting:
“Tasmanian sporting shooters say they are confident the State Government will deliver its election promise to consider allowing them to use semi-automatic .22 calibre rifles for competition shooting events, firearms banned under laws introduced after the Port Arthur massacre.
But it would only be legal for the shooters to use rifles if the National Firearms Agreement is changed, or if Tasmania walks away from fully honouring the deal, which was reached following the mass shooting event in 1996 in which 35 people were murdered.
The shooters say without the rifles, they stand no chance of winning a world championship.
South Australian David McCarthy is the best in Australia and just won a national championship held at Copping near Hobart.
He competed internationally last year and was coming sixth in the world, but has not been able to win at the International Gallery Rifle Federation world cup because he can only shoot in half of the matches as he requires a semi-automatic .22 calibre rifle to compete in all events.
Following public outrage over the election promise, which came to light on the day before the state poll in March, the Liberals scrapped the changes, with Premier Will Hodgman saying the Government, “understood there are deeply held concerns about public safety, and in an area as important to Tasmanians as gun laws, public confidence in our laws is essential”.
But changes to the laws are still a chance, with the Government holding an inquiry into the laws, building shooters’ hopes the promises will be kept. The Tasmanian Government has also promised the possibility of expanding the “reason to own” a category C firearm to include competition shooting, as occurs for clay target shooters, for recognised competition shooting events in Australia.
Tasmanian president of the Sporting Shooters Association Andrew Judd said he was confident the Tasmanian Government would keep the promises it made to shooters.
“I still believe that we have a good chance to be able to put forward some commonsense arguments,” Mr Judd said, adding his members were not calling for “military-style” guns.
“What’s not been addressed is if we are allowed category C firearms, it will actually enhance most people’s storage facilities, which will also improve public safety.”
I would like to know what Andrew Judd means by military-style, because no such thing exists and is just a meaningless buzzword invented by the anti-gun crowd. Further, the current storage laws are a joke and need to be scrapped. Why should people be forced to upgrade storage to a certain level, especially considering the disaster that was passed in Tasmania last year?
Whether those are Judd’s own words or the usual creative licence we’ve come to expect from the ABC remains unclear.
Aside that from those sticking points, we agree. It’s a ridiculous state of affairs that just over the Tasman, Kiwi shooters can participate in 3-gun, Airsoft and Paintball without the overarching nanny state garbage Australia is famous for:
All Cat C and D firearms should both be opened up to sports shooters.
There’s no reason, other than perpetual, baseless fear mongering that they should not be. You can’t breach the National Firearms Agreement if it’s not legally binding in the first place, so again the ABC perpetuate this myth. Of course, the unworkable, arbitrary mess that is the category system should go completely, but this is positive step in the right direction.
Will Hodgman copping out because Green-in-Liberals-clothing Sue Hickey held him over a barrel was disappointing but not unexpected. If Hodgman still has any cajones he would follow through with the changes and sack Sue Hickey, but we won’t hold our breath.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t hold their feet to the fire and we will continue to do so.