Firearms regulations must balance the rights of all Australians to be safe and secure with the interests of those with a genuine reason and need to have access to them. The Liberal Party of Australia recognises that responsible shooting and hunting are part of day-to-day life for many Australians, especially in regional areas.
There are almost one million Australians who are registered firearm owners, most engaged in recreational shooting at thousands of clubs nationwide, and many use firearms as part of their daily work in pest management and farming. The Australian community expects that access to firearms is limited to fit and proper people and that relevant information must be readily available to those making decisions about whether people should have access to firearms.
A re-elected Liberal Government would continue to engage with the states and territories, which have primary responsibility for the management of firearms in Australia. The Commonwealth has responsibility for cross-border trafficking offences and the import and export of firearms and firearm-related articles. The Commonwealth and the states and territories work closely to ensure the national approach to the regulation of firearms is supported by national information-sharing systems.
The Liberal Party believes shooting and hunting should be undertaken in a responsible way and supports safety and education programs for shooters about safe firearms practice. The Coalition Government has established the Commonwealth Firearms Advisory Council (CFAC) to provide industry direct access to the Federal Government to discuss matters of interest and concern.
We appreciate the role shooting sports play at a social level and in the elite sporting landscape at international level. International excellence is based on a strong pathway through local clubs and organised competitions and there are an estimated 300,000 registered Australians engaged in sports shooting across almost 1200 clubs. The Liberal Party recognises the social and economic benefits these clubs provide to sporting shooters and communities throughout Australia.