The recent David Dunstan fiasco and it’s “resolution” raised many questions over the legitimacy over using firearms for self-defence.
One of the main things to come out of the incident was NSW Nationals MP John Barilaro moving to launch an inquiry in to NSW’s self-defence laws. It isn’t just Dunstan’s case that has come up recently. A farmer in NSW who shot a thief on his property and was not charged and another woman awaiting trial for pointing a shotgun at trespassers on her property late at night are two recent cases of note.
Senator David Leyonhjelm also weighed in on the topic on ABC Radio Illawarra:
Now, you may recall the letter NSW Police sent to Dunstan after they decided to be the lesser authoritarian and give him his guns back:
This is completely incorrect from NSW Police as there is nothing in the NSW Crimes Act 1900 Section 418, that prohibits the use of a firearm for self-defence:
So, we contacted NSW Police about a month ago for clarification. This was their response:
As you can see, a complete deflection.
So we decided to escalate and get Troy Grant’s clarification. This is what the NSW Police Minister came back with via the Justice Department:
The Justice Department have made some tenuous extrapolation here and haven’t really addressed the question. In layman’s terms they have said, “yeh you can’t buy one for the purpose of self-defence but yeh you can legally use it to defend yourself in self-defence in a reasonable circumstance.”
Just because it wasn’t able to be granted for the purpose of self-defence, doesn’t mean it can’t be used for self-defence in a reasonable circumstance, as the Dunstan and Teralba cases have both essentially proven. The Justice Department have really outdone themselves with this leap of mental gymnastics.
So, if it is a legal defence to use a firearm in self-defence but it is not legal to obtain one purely for the purpose of self-defence, what is the point of the genuine reason criterion?
We know the answer from authority is the same old “muh public safety” but legally speaking our understanding on the basis of the Crimes Act is that there is nothing preventing you from using a legally owned firearm from protecting yourself in a life threatening situation.
If John Barilaro wanted to make the Nationals’ relevant again, he would fire that inquiry up as soon as possible and get to the bottom of this quite frankly, stupid, state of affairs regarding self-defence in NSW, and indeed, Australia.
We have followed up again with NSW Police and Troy Grant for further clarification.
Yet the “Only Ones” not only may use a firearm for ‘self defence’ they may also continuously carry one just in case they require it for that purpose. They are of course far more entitled to go home safely than mere mundanes are able to be safe in their own houses!
“the Crimes Act” has got nuthin’ to do with it….
this is the relevant case law/precedent… https://jade.io/article/67359 ;
yr also missing the point of that letter…..
first off: cops have wide discretion on whether to charge or not to charge….and…even if they do charge…the charge can be struck down by the DPP b’fr it gets to trial via either a nolle prosequi or a voire dire hearing..
secondly: under the ‘law’ as it now stands, Dunstan et al could have been charged but NSW-pol decided to exercise their discretion and not charge him/them ….. most likely b’cs of the political fall-out and, perhaps, to fore-stall a High Court of Australia challenge/appeal which might have seen a good lot of the current gun laws struck down…..(its well known that the current gun laws are on very shaky legal ground indeed…..so…..they simply can’t afford a well-funded, determined HCA appeal)
No they aren’t. The point of the article is the discrepancy between licencing and self defence use and the Police and Justice Department dodging the question.
And as for your discretion, where was the discretion when they seized his guns? They could have avoided the whole thing by choosing not to enforce the regs.
what “aren’t” ?
re: “discretion” …uh….did you actually read the comment?
let me re-iterate:
☞cops have wide discretion on whether to charge or not to charge….and…even if they do charge…the charge can be struck down by the DPP b’fr it gets to trial via either a nolle prosequi or a voire dire hearing….☜
so….clearly…what’s occurred is that the cops on “duty” @ the time decided to seize Dunstan’s guns…..
if different cops had been on duty…they may well not have decided to so do….apropos the other two cases referred to…in one of which, IIRC, a shot was actually fired….escalating it to a level of seriousness above and beyond the Dunstan case……
to conclude: whether or not cops decide to charge you or not charge you is entirely up to their discretion..
they can even decide not to charge some-one in a murder investigation…..
in fact: they do that frequently….either b’cs they think there is insufficient evidence or b’cs they want to let the suspect ‘run-for-a-while’ to see if (s)/he/they might incriminate them-selfs further…..or….for any n° of reasons…
Essentially, it is not legal to buy, carry, keep or own ANY weapon for self defence in any state of Australia (you’d better have a good explaination for the baseball bat/hockey stick etc that many people keep, if you ever use it).
However, you have the right to improvise a defence on the spot out of anything (assuming the level of force is considered reasonable by the court), that includes a legally owned firearm.
That is the legal position – in a self defence scenario, your firearm is like a golf club, kitchen knife etc, you can’t own it for self defence, but you can use it.
This is of course, idiotic.
But, Dunstan did not use his for “self-defense”.
It wasn’t loaded, and he didn’t point the gun at the intruder.
He might as well have had bar of soap in his hand.
The NSW laws contradict themselves. At first NSW police websites states that:
“Personal protection is not listed as a genuine reason for a firearms licence. Please refer to Section 12(2) of the Firearms Act 1996 which specifically states that personal protection and protection of any other person do not constitute a genuine reason for possessing and/or using a firearm.”
Then the NSW police actually have a Firearms license category for Security Guards. Which makes no sense, since if not for personal protection, what reason is it that security guards carry firearms?
Are we to beleive that there are 2 classes of people in our society? Those with the right to self defense, and then everyone else without the right to self defense
Hey Dean, the NSWPOL have made up part of that (which is pathetically sad), the law clearly doesn’t bring forth anything against using a legally owned firearm for self defence/protection.