With Premier O’Farrell about to send armed 12 year old children into our National Parks and his failure to have police enforce existing gun laws that require shooters to have a good reason to get their hands on a gun, the Greens are calling for the Premier to finally stand up to the gun lobby.

Greens NSW MP and Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“The proposal to arm children as young as 12 and then send them into our National parks to do blood sports shows how far removed from public opinion the O’Farrell government has become.

“Putting children as young as 12 into our national parks with weapons is proof positive that this legislation is about promoting a gun culture and killing for fun rather than being a serious feral animal control programme.

“With this latest disclosure it is clear that the government’s hunting policies have descended into a cruel farce.

“The O’Farrell Government’s complete surrender to the Shooters Party is highlighted by this dubious deal, displaying a government willing to push dangerous gun and hunting policies so as to get support for selling public assets and sacking public servants.

“If this wasn’t bad enough, it comes on top of the discovery that the O’Farrell government is allowing police to issue thousands of gun permits a year without even asking why people say they need the guns.

“Under the Firearms Act people are required to have a “good reason” to acquire a firearm, but the form used by NSW police to grant permits doesn’t even ask why people want the gun.

“Put simply, if police don’t even ask people the reason why they are getting a gun then the police can never be satisfied that the applicant has a good reason.

“This government, just like the last one, is too scared to enforce tough gun laws because they are held hostage by a minority of Shooters MPs in the NSW Parliament.

“Because police aren’t checking why people are getting guns, we have more and more guns in this State, with owners having 20, 50 and even up to 300 guns.

“This growing pool of legal weapons is becoming a honeypot for criminals and we are seeing gun thefts rising.

”The Premier comes out time and again to complain about gun crime in NSW, but he can’t even arrange for the existing gun laws to be enforced.

”The law says people need to have a good reason to get a gun, but if the police don’t even ask what that reason is before they grant permission, then the law is a dead letter.

”It’s no wonder the number of guns on Sydney’s streets keep increasing when the police aren’t even checking why people are getting their guns.

“The Premier must immediately direct NSW police to enforce this law and make sure no one is getting a gun unless they have a good reason for it,” Mr Shoebridge said.