Without any fanfare or publicity the NT Government recently published the below announcement in the Government 6th of November edition of the Government Gazette.
This has effectively banned all ‘linear repeating firearms with assisted ejection’, you may be wondering what the hell that actually is. Well to our simple minds this seems to be attempting to capture lever-release firearms. More particularly it seems fueled by the recent introduction of the toggle-release Savage A22R and the variant’s which this legislation now effectively bans.
This has been achieved through the use of Section 8 of the NT Firearms Act 1997 which grants the Chief Commissioner a reclassification power.
Not even the full-time Commissioner has made this classification, it was the previously Acting Commissioner.
The usual questions arise here: How is this considered a Category D firearm? What ballistic testing was done (if any)? Why was there no consultation and if there actually was, who was consulted? Our organisation wasn’t consulted, dealers we spoke with have been unaware and other organizations in the sector have also been caught by surprise.
This example again reiterates the fact that firearm categorisation is purely a path to disarmament by scope creep. By having categories of firearms that are virtually impossible to obtain to the average gun owner and having unelected Police and firearm registry staff issue unchallengeable and unaccountable edicts on certain firearms, it allows them to ban firearms via recategorisation with no avenue for scrutiny and appeal.
Police have already sent out surrender notices to affected owners, with no leading offer of compensation instead with owners being demanded to surrender firearms to dealers and sell them. An action that will flood the market for rifles that NIOA is already offering a manufacturer’s rebate on – no doubt setting owners up to lose a significant portion of their investment.
Chief Commissioner reclassification powers at the state level are being routinely abused to achieve this outcome. We have seen it time and again, including the recent examples of the Verney Carron Speedline in NT, the Saiga 12 in Vic, to name just a few. The abuses are becoming especially forthright in the NT where these laws are now being used to effectively re-write the laws passed by parliament in vast swathes, with these powers having also been used for the bulk recategorisation of lever action shotguns.
Whether other states follow suit remains to be seen but would be unsurprising if they did.It is strongly recommended that you contact NT Police Minister and let them know your thoughts on the matter by sending an email to this address, firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you are looking for some inspiration you can see the letter we sent to the NT Police Minister below.