Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 6 June 2017) . . Page.. 1898 ..
Lever action shotguns with more than five rounds will be heavily restricted. Ownership will be limited to professional shooters and primary producers who have a genuine need that cannot be met by another firearm. This bill ensures the strict control of firearm possession while respecting the interests of licensed firearms owners. I commend this bill to the Assembly.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (11.02): The Greens will be supporting the Firearms Amendment Bill 2017. The Greens welcome efforts to make our community safer through stricter gun control measures. This bill will reclassify lever action shotguns, as agreed to by all Australian jurisdictions at the Council of Australian Governments meeting on 9 December 2016. Currently lever action shotguns are category A firearms. The amendments in this bill will change lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity of up to five rounds to category B, and those with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds to category D. This will significantly reduce the availability of these firearms.
This reclassification has been brought about in response to concerns around the Adler A110 lever action shotgun. In 2015, in response to the imminent arrival of the Adler A110 shotgun, the commonwealth temporarily prohibited the importation of lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity of seven rounds. This ban was extended to allow all jurisdictions to give effect to the COAG decision of December 2016. Whilst lever action shotguns are not new, the five-shot Adler A110 can be modified to hold up to 11 cartridges. With the Adler’s lever action being relatively fast moving, shots can be fired quite quickly. As technology continues to evolve and lever action shotguns become more sophisticated, there is a great risk to community safety if these fall into the wrong hands.
The Greens have a long history of supporting strict gun control, which started in the parliament of Tasmania in the 1980s when attempts were made by the Greens to ban automatic and semiautomatic weapons due to ongoing concerns about public safety and the number of guns in circulation, not only in Tasmania but nationally at the time. After the tragedy of the Port Arthur massacre, where 35 people were killed and 23 injured, we saw a national approach to gun law reform that put community safety first. It involved an amnesty and gun buyback that took some 600,000 firearms out of the community.
These reforms have become the envy of the world. Other countries look to Australia for our gun laws, which are something that gun control advocates in many countries would like to introduce. The evidence has clearly shown that these reforms have had a positive impact on reducing homicides and mass shootings in Australia. It is disturbing to hear that some members of the federal coalition government have been advocating for the loosening of gun laws, contrary to the advice of police and other experts in this field.
On the other hand, it is pleasing to hear that there are currently no registered lever action shotguns in the ACT. This bill will ensure that lever action shotguns are only accessible to professional shooters and primary producers who can establish that they