Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2599 ..
14 people. Before you dismiss these as illegal shootings and illegal guns, I should add that these criminals were members of their respective gun clubs.
What I am doing with my amendment today is allowing the minister to add to the number of prohibited pistols so that pistols that fall outside the banned list and have no legitimate use can also be removed from our community. It does not take us that much out of step with the national regulations; it just allows us to go that one step further. The definitions that are being put forward will mean that guns will remain in our community that have no legitimate sporting use. I do hope this amendment is supported.
MR PRATT(4.51): I rise to support the government's amendment.
MR SPEAKER: This is Ms Dundas' amendment.
MR PRATT: I am sorry. I rise to support the government's position but not to support that amendment. If this legislation continues to entice and encourage further buy-back of surplus-to-requirement legal weapons, then that is what we should be drilling down, too. I sympathise with the position on the list of weapons put forward by Ms Dundas, and I would like to explore that further.
Beyond the piece of legislative action occurring today, I would like to look down the track at how we might encourage COAG to tighten that list of weapons, so that we get right down to only the essential legal types of weapon, which are genuinely required by genuine sporting shooters for approved activities. Ms Dundas raises a good point. Do we need 118 pistols, plus whatever else we have got swirling around, for competition shooting in this country or even to keep up with international best practice sporting competition standards?
I will just make a comment in passing that this is something we will probably want to revisit in terms of tightening the net on the types of hand gun that are not really necessary in Australian society-beyond those which are seen to be genuinely needed for international and national competition.
MS TUCKER(4.53): The Greens will be supporting this amendment. It gives the minister the capacity to develop a list, which would be disallowable. That sounds a very sensible way of having further action to reduce the number of guns in the community. The list has not been put into the legislation; all it does is enable there to be such a list. So it is a good idea.
MR WOOD(Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Heritage and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.54): As indicated, the government won't be supporting the amendment. It is not a complete list, as Ms Dundas said, and that is part of the reason. Even if you specify every type of weapon, and the measurements with which you can accomplish things, I am not sure you will ever get a completely exhaustive list.
If I heard Ms Dundas right, she said that some of those pistols she mentioned had killed people and that people who used them might have been members of gun clubs. If that is the case, that is one of the reasons that we are making club membership more difficult.