Tasmania Firearms Amendment Bill 2007

Tasmania's Minister for Police and Emergency Management, David Llewellyn, introduced the Firearms Amendment Bill 2007 into Parliament on 6 June 2007.

The Bill will amend a number of sections in the Firearms Act 1996 Regulations and provide for further amendments to the Police Offences Act 1935 to support the Firearms legislation.

The Amendment Bill makes provision for the following:

  • strengthening the licensing process for firearms dealers by requiring the provision of details of dealers’ close associates, with the view to establishing whether the close associate is a fit and proper person within the definition required by the Firearms Act 1996;
  • define close associate and allow for the non-granting or cancellation of firearms dealers licenses based on associations;
  • place restrictions on persons who may be employed by firearms dealers which will include holding specific firearm licences and allow for offence provisions;
  • provide for indictable offences for unlawfully trafficking in illegal firearms, which will include conspiring to commit firearms offences in a foreign jurisdiction;
  • Increase substantially the current penalties for certain serious offences in the Firearms Act 1996;
  • provide for firearms used in the security industry to be restricted in calibre to .38 inch or 9 millimetre, use, ownership and registration;
  • restrict the magazine capacity of certain firearms, allow for permanently deactivated ornamental firearms and ex-military items for collection purposes only;
  • amend the provisions for the safekeeping and transporting of firearms;
  • provide for the disposal of firearms, the control of injured, dangerous and diseased animals, the collecting of valuable heirlooms and suspension of licenses in certain circumstances;
  • allow for the clarification of certain sections and inclusions to align the Act with the Family Violence Act 2004 and the repeal of section 146 of the Firearms Act 1996;
  • allow the Commissioner of Police to issue an exemption for people to possess sound suppressors, under specific controls and firearm magazines under section 155 of the Firearms Act 1996
  • allow active non-sporting firearm licence holders to attend a rifle range, sight their firearms, test ammunition and increase their proficiency with the firearm under section 26 of the Firearms Act 1996;
  • provide for amendments to the Police Offences Act 1935 to:
    1. Allow for increased penalties and the confiscation of the vehicles, vessels, aircraft and firearms from people who trespass whilst in possession of a vehicle, vessel or aircraft and/or firearm;
    2. Upon conviction for that offence, forfeiture of the firearm to the Crown and cancellation of the firearms licence at the discretion of a magistrate; and
    3. Allow for the regulation of spotlights on vehicles using public streets, to reduce the shooting offences from public streets.
  • provide for amendments to the Firearms Regulations 2006, in relation to the transporting of all firearms.

Consultation has occurred with various organisations and individuals:

These include the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, the Tasmanian Firearms Owners Consultative Committee, the Tasmanian Pistol Association, Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Security Industry Association, Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC) Local Government Division, Local Government Association of Tasmania, National Coalition for Gun Control, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, the Tasmanian Rifle Association, Van Dieman Pistol Club, the Tasmanian Deer Association, the Department of Primary Industries and Water (DPIW), the Tasmanian Deer Advisory Committee and various firearms dealers.