The Federal Attorney-General’s Department has admitted there was an “unintended error in the phrasing of the handgun restrictions” in regard to Part 7 of the revised National Firearms Agreement document. Instead of referencing 14(c), it should have referenced 14(b)i. This would have excluded the SSAA and other groups such as IPSC from handgun competitions and wiped out 80 per cent of handgun shooting across the nation.
We have demanded an immediate amendment to the NFA document and they have agreed to upload the reedited NFA to the department’s website by the close of business today. They said they will write to us to clarify that there “was never an intention to restrict lawful handgun competition”. By this time all state and territory firearms registries will have been advised of the massive error.
We did point out that if they had consulted properly with us, then the error would have been discovered before the document was made public. The SSAA and IPSC have taken a very dim view of this fiasco. It is a huge embarrassment for the Attorney-General and COAG in general and underscores why agreements and regulations should always be made with proper consultation of stakeholders.
SSAA National Chief Executive Officer Tim Bannister said, “Your Association will continue to call out bad decisions, regulations and stuff-ups on behalf of its 180,000 members.”