The end date of a directive by the Northern Territory Police Firearms Policy and Recording Unit to reclassify a rifle in the NT has been extended. In October last year a letter was sent to licensed firearms owners, telling them the Savage A22R .22 rifle along with centrefire rifles such as the Verney Carron Speedline were being reclassified and owners must “dispose” of those firearms within three months.
The .22 rifle is currently Class A but owners were informed it was being reclassified to Class C and told they’d either have to sell their rifle or, unrealistically, obtain an updated firearms licence within three months.
But after lobbying by the SSAA (NT) to Northern Territory Police and Police Minister Nicole Manison against the reclassification, the date has been extended to April 29, 2020.
Correspondence confirmed: “You now have a further three months from receipt of this letter in which to dispose of this firearm by (a) selling it to an appropriately licensed individual or organisation or (b) transferring the firearm to an appropriate licence to meet the new category requirements.
“Please ensure action is taken by April 29, 2020 otherwise your firearm may be compulsorily acquired. Should this occur you will be compensated at a pre-determined rate.”
In letters to NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker and Minister Manison, SSAA (NT) said the declarations to reclassify the rifle were made without consultation with relevant stakeholders. SSAA (NT) also said the reclassification raises significant concerns for its members and asked for the declarations to be revoked.
The letters included seven main concerns to be considered as a matter of urgency, including: “At no time was our organisation, or anyone representing shooters, consulted or spoken to whatsoever about re-categorisation of these firearms. This matter took us by complete surprise and came without any apparent justification or reason.”
SSAA (NT) said in addition to the extended end date there has been additional correspondence with new Firearms Policy and Recording Unit Acting Senior Sergeant, Renae McGarvie.