Greater clarity needed on Shooting Club requirements

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Rick Mazza is calling for greater clarity from the Western Australian Police Force Licencing Enforcement Division in regards to shooting club event attendance requirements for firearm licence holders.

After recently asking a question in Parliament, Mr Mazza received a response stating ‘clubs have been advised by Police that a requirement to shoot is a 12 month assessment and the member can shoot later in the year to gain that proficiency.

‘If a shooting club member cannot meet requirements for a particular reason, Police will assess, and if reasonable, will not take action under this discretionary power’.

Mr Mazza said the response still does not provide certainty to firearms licence holders.

“Gun clubs are being responsible in ceasing competitions and attendances in response to the COVID-19 epidemic in order to keep members and the community safe from the disease,” Mr Mazza said.

“The suggestion from WA Police for gun clubs to make the time up later is unfair and impractical as we don’t know how long the COVID-19 problem will persist.

“If clubs are expected to hold double the amount of shooting competitions later in the year that will not be feasible.”

Mr Mazza said the Northern Territory Firearms Policy and Recording Unit would not be taking any action on firearm licence holders who fail to meet their minimum requirements for the rest of the calendar year.

The South Australian Firearms Branch has applied a six-month exemption for club supported firearms owners between March 1 and September 30, 2020.

“I would like to see clear direction similar to the Northern Territory and South Australia where firearms licence holders have certainty about suspension of club attendances during that time. WA firearm license holders are attentive to maintaining compliance, however that is difficult if the rules are vague,” Mr Mazza said.

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