The Problem of P650 permits in NSW
The P650 is a form that people without a firearms licence who wish to shoot on a range or undertake a Firearm Safety Awareness Course must complete before being able to do so.
It asks a number of very specific questions about your personal history. Most of the questions are not problematic, as a person so identified would be excluded under the Act. There are however two problematic questions.
The problematic questions are:
(a) if a person has been prohibited from holding a firearms licence or permit or had a permit suspended cancelled or revoked?
and the second problematic question asks
(b) Are you suffering from any mental disorder or illness which may prevent you from using a firearm safely?
An affirmative answer to either of these questions automatically excludes you from participating and it is not set out as a reviewable decision under the legislation.
The Registry I understand are working on a legal ‘fix’. In the meantime, the Registry is doing their best to resolve the question administratively with inadequate staffing.
I would suggest that anybody ‘caught’ send particulars with a P650 to the Registry or send this material to supplement the P650 already held as this may help expedite your matter and help clear the backlog.
If the material provided is favourable, the Registry may then be able to send a letter to you that shall enable you to move to the next stage and undertake for example a Safety Awareness Course and then submit a firearms licence.
If you have or have had, a mental health problem, I would suggest that you provide the mental health practitioner or GP with the following and ask them to prepare a report detailing:
a. Providing a summary of their relevant experience
b. Summarise relevant history taken.
c. Provide a diagnosis. (When giving a diagnosis please utilise the current edition of the DSM or ICD).
d. Consider, from the view point of their speciality, if there to be a risk posed by you having continuous and responsible control over his firearms at home as a result of any mental health condition.
e. Whether you have the ability to form a rational judgement or to exercise will power to control physical acts in accordance with rational judgement. Please here comment in respect to any perceived risk of self-harm and or harm to others.
f. Whether there is a risk of relapse, and in answering this, whether any predictions can be made by for example ‘lessons learned’ or past responsible action while sick, that may enable you to predict that they may act responsibly in respect to firearms if they relapse.
The Registry may ask further material of the Doctor or Psychologist.
Hoping this expedites your P650 request and the backlog at the Registry.
National Firearms Lawyer
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Simon Munslow is a lawyer who has a lifelong interest in shooting, having acquired his first firearm at the age of nine, and has had an active interest in firearms law since writing a thesis on the topic over thirty years ago at University.
Simon Munslow practices extensively in Firearms Law matters throughout Australia.
He is a regular contributor to the Australian Sporting Shooter magazine’s website on Firearms law matters, has published articles on firearms reviews and firearms law, and occasionally is asked to comment in the broader media on firearms matters.
This article is written for general information only and does not constitute advice.
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