While other issues such as taxation and health took precedence at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on April 1, SSAA National can confirm a shift towards increased consultation with key firearm industry stakeholders, including the SSAA, as the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) review continues.
SSAA National President Geoff Jones recently met with Justice Minister Michael Keenan as part of the Firearms Industry Reference Group (FIRG), where the Minister pledged to hold at least two regular meetings of the group per year to directly discuss issues and any changes that will affect licensed firearm owners and the activities of our members. Geoff welcomed the move to establish set meetings and open dialogue, which the SSAA called for when the FIRG was established in August 2015.
Geoff also took the opportunity to reiterate to the Minister the need for careful consideration surrounding any plans for recategorisation, particularly of eight-shot lever-action shotguns. He made it clear that such changes without any evidence could effectively be seen as confiscation without compensation.
Describing the meeting as positive, Geoff said it was pleasing to see the Minister acknowledge the group was bringing real value and insight regarding firearms legislation. “It is encouraging to see the Minister commit to including the SSAA and other like-minded groups in further discussions and lock in at least two face-to-face meetings a year,” he said. “I am also hopeful that we will see further cuts to red tape to improve efficiencies for our members.”
SSAA-LA will continue to bring our members the latest updates and information from future meetings and continue to represent our members’ interests, as clearly outlined in our preliminarily submission paper on the NFA review.