Anti Gun Lobby Plays Dirty Again - Tasmanian Premier in Legal Firing Line
As Tasmania takes its first steps towards a common sense approach to firearm ownership. Gun Control Australia have taken desperate measures to view Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman proposed changes to the Firearms Act in Tasmania.
The Mercury reported "ANTI-firearms campaigners are taking Premier Will Hodgman to court in a bid to make public legal advice over planned changes to gun laws.
Gun Control Australia today announced it had launched proceedings in the Supreme Court to review the State Government’s refusal to release the legal advice on the grounds it was not in the public interest. Spokesman Roland Browne said the case listed the Supreme Court on June 18.
“In late February 2018, the Government released a firearms policy which proposed to move Tasmania away from the 1996 National Firearms Agreement,” he said.
“The Premier said at the time he had advice from his Police Minister that the policy did not contravene the National Firearms Agreement. Under the Right to Information Act, Gun Control Australia Inc. sought release of the advice referred to by the Premier.
“The Premier by his delegate refused release of the information. He concluded that ‘it would be contrary to the public interest to release’ the information sought.”
It was revealed shortly before the March state election that the Government was considering changes to gun laws that would give farmers greater access to Category C firearms such as semiautomatic rifles, self-loading rifles and pump-action shotguns, and increase the duration of some licences to 10 years.
Premier Will Hodgman said the Government would not introduce changes to the law that were outside the National Firearms Agreement and the legal advice indicated the plans did not breach the deal.
“Changes to our firearms laws have occurred in the past including as recently as last year when we strengthened them, so they can be changed. It needs to happen within the context of the NFA,” he said.
“Our aim and our objective here is to ensure that people who lawfully use firearms — they might be a farmer needing to protect their crops, it could be a recreational shooter — are able to do so safely and not in endanger any Tasmanians but able to use their firearms in a way that is contemporary under laws that are very strong and retain the integrity of the National Firearms Agreement.”
Firearms Owners United summed it up well as they normally do. "If this isn’t the definition of vexatious litigation then I really don’t know what is? How can you launch legal proceedings against an agreement that is non-legally binding in the first place?"
There is literally nothing in either the original 1996 NFA or the 2017 edition that requires states to notify the public of said changes or anything along the lines of Browne’s so-called argument.
Rene Hidding notified relevant stakeholders about the proposed changes on 9 February 2018 – the changes were already in the public domain, there are only 40,000 copies in circulation.