NSW seems to be neck and neck with WA for worst rulings on firearm laws in the country. This from the SMH last week:
“However, in a recent ruling, Dr Juliet Lucy wrote: “I am not satisfied that recreational hunting requires the possession or use of a silencer”.
The ruling has been welcomed by Gun Control Australia, who say it “sets a good precedent for other jurisdictions” within Australia. Dr Lucy was dismissing an appeal from a recreational shooter who had been denied a permit for a silencer by the Commissioner of Police. Rather than looking solely at the shooter’s circumstances, the senior member considered the question “objectively”.
The recreational hunter of 30 years argued he needed a silencer as it would “cause far less disturbance to his neighbours and their livestock; that it would reduce disturbance to surrounding game and farmers’ stock; and that it would ensure that his hearing was not degraded further”.
In her dismissal of the appeal, Dr Lucy found the requirement for whether recreational shooters should be allowed silencers was not about individual hunters but about recreational shooting in a general sense.
“The recreational activity of shooting does not ‘require’ the possession or use of a silencer due to its impact on nearby people,” she said. Dr Lucy also found that evidence showed silencers did not prevent disturbance to livestock, and that ear muffs or earplugs could help protect against hearing loss so a silencer was not needed.
“I do not consider that (the recreational shooter) has discharged the evidentiary burden of demonstrating that the recreational or sporting activity concerned (that is, recreational shooting) requires the possession or use of a silencer, on either construction of the requirement,” the ruling said.”
And of course, the SMH didn’t get a pro-gun counter argument because they’re wankers with an agenda – standard form.
Patently ridiculous decision from NSWCAT but not really surprising from the same state that is losing it’s shit over gel blasters, tried to stitch up David Dunstan, blamed firearm owners for the John Edwards fiasco and is trying to ruin Brad Towner’s life.
A brief look at Dr Lucy’s professional history reveals she, much like Sam Lee, is a career lawyer. No experience or credentials in firearms, audiology, agricultural matters or anything relevant to the subject at hand. As usual, ultracrepidarian bureaucrats making decisions on subjects they know little about.
The personal protective equipment argument by Dr Lucy is absurd. Suppressors are an engineering control which ranks far higher on the hierarchy of controls than personal protective equipment, which are a last resort:
What is this so-called ‘evidence’ that Dr Lucy is citing? A comprehensive study in 2011 by Curtin University found Australia’s ban on firearm suppressors to be ridiculous, particularly when juxtaposed with it’s Kiwi brethren:
“New Zealand holds the view that moderators (suppressors) are merely non-critical devices designed to lower the sound report of an otherwise noisy firearm. They hold no sentience and discount the possibility they are criminally ‘contaminated’ by proximity to the crime portrayed in popular fiction. In New Zealand firearm sound suppression is viewed as something that has physical, community and animal welfare benefits. Consequently the authorities have deemed there will be no restriction on moderator availability, with the same status as a muffler on a motor vehicle.”
Sam Lee proved again that she’s the gift that keeps on giving:
“Ms Lee said allowing greater access to accessories like silencers was a “public safety issue”.
“If someone is shooting, you want people to be able to hear it so they can run,” she said. “These types of accessories are a wish list for the gun lobby, but they’re not something that if you’re looking at the safety of the community, you would allow in.”
So they can run? Oh dear. Again, suppressors only reduce the noise to a safe level:
It seems Sam Lee failed basic physics in high school and the Military Arms Channel does a comprehensive job debunking her rubbish:
Or you can go down to Supa Cheap Auto and make one out of an oil filter for a few dollars:
Bans on suppressors are a serious hearing related occupational health and safety issue – it extends beyond farmers and pest controllers and to range officers, firearm owners and the public. Hearing damage costs the Australian workforce and healthcare sector billions of dollars a year, much of it in the agricultural sector.
In short, state governments are playing a dangerous game when it comes to Occupational Health and Safety by banning firearm suppressors.
Australia’s ban on firearm suppressors are an international embarrassment. Just over the Tasman they are freely available and encouraged to NZ firearm owners. They are mandatory for public land hunting in the UK and are available in many European countries and in 39 states in the US, with the Hearing Protection Act recently re-introduced into Congress.
QCAT recently made a sensible decision regarding the classification of firearm suppressors. NSWCAT seems to be taking the opposite approach and making one of the worst in recent memory.
Only in Australia would it be mandatory to attach a piece of tubular steel to your motor vehicle to make it quieter, but completely illegal to attach an almost identical device to your firearm to produce the same result.