Chairman of the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) Luca Scribani Rossi has written to the Justice Minister Michael Keenan to express his increasing scepticism on the government’s consultation process regarding the National Firearms Agreement and lever-action shotgun regulations in particular.
In his August 11 letter to the Minister, Mr Scribani Rossi describes that he attended an ‘exchange’ - he says he “would not call it a consultation” - in Brisbane last week with members of the Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group, where he said there was no mention of a decision regarding changes to lever-action shotgun regulations.
“After the meeting, I was told that the Government had made a regulation concerning lever action shot guns. There was not any mention of this decision at the meeting although it is inconceivable there were not people in the meeting who knew about it.
“Not only does the regulation prohibit the import of lever action shot guns with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds but it also prohibits the import of magazines with a capacity of more than five rounds.”
Mr Scribani Rossi said the regulations would affect about 4000 law-abiding owners of lever-action shotguns, who would now be unable to buy magazines to replace or supplement the magazines they currently use. He said no evidence had been produced linking magazine capacity of lever-action shotguns to terrorism.
Despite lever-action reclassification being a subject of debate since at least 2005, Mr Scribani Rossi said the government’s more recent failures to discuss regulations “reinforces the impression that this Government has not the slightest interest in consulting the industry or recreational shooters about issues affecting them”.