SSAA National met with senior federal Attorney-General’s officials earlier this week in Canberra, who reassured us that Justice Minister Michael Keenan has called for meaningful and direct consultation regarding the technical review of the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).
The Attorney-General’s Department said it would practise evidence-based policy and committed itself to open and transparent consultation with key stakeholders, including the firearms industry and recreational user groups such as us. Another meeting is being held today in Brisbane, with a further meeting planned in the near future.
In the meeting, SSAA National President Geoff Jones and CEO Tim Bannister stressed the need for the SSAA to be involved on the ground regarding any changes or adjustments to the NFA, as these have the potential to directly affect our members.
We encouraged the Attorney-General’s Department to meet with likeminded associations and the industry, and reminded them that the SSAA has had a long history in positively advising and working with the government through previous Firearms Advisory Councils. We also reminded them that the SSAA has represented the Australian Government at the United Nations Small Arms and Light Weapons meetings, along with other similar meetings and treaties.
While we questioned the temporary ban of the Adler 110 lever-action shotgun based on potential terrorism concerns, we were pleased to hear that the Minister has stressed it is strictly a temporary ban until the full review is complete. We understand that the Minister is putting this in writing in a reply to our open letter, where we expressed our shock and serious disappointment at the temporary ban without talking to ourselves or Nioa, the importer.
We further explained the benefits of the Adler in relation to pest control and shooting competitions, and reminded the Attorney-General’s Department that lever-action technology has been in use for more than 100 years.
The SSAA will continue our work in ensuring that the liberties of the 800,000 licensed firearm owners across Australia are not further infringed upon, and we will keep our members informed regarding any developments as they come to hand.