It has been revealed today that at no stage in the process of getting a license to own a firearm or to hunt on public land is it required for hunters to do an eye test to prove they can properly identify the targets they are shooting. This raises fresh safety concerns regarding the O’Farrell government’s reckless plan to begin hunting in National Parks.
See the reporting on Channel Seven here.
Greens NSW MP and Firearms spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“It is outrageous that people can be licensed to hunt with guns on public land without being required to prove they can identify their intended target.
“Surely as a basic minimum hunters must be able to tell a pig from a person or a furry blur before they are let loose in this state’s National Parks?
“It appears the O’Farrell government is so incompetent that it wasn’t even aware that hunters could be roaming our forests with high powered rifles and unable to properly identify the targets they are shooting.
“O’Farrell has been so keen to stitch up a deal with the shooters in NSW Parliament that neither his Environment Minister or his Police Minister had even bothered to check if the hunters they are proposing to license could see their targets.
“Beyond the danger to the public, there is a real concern whether these recreational hunters will be able to distinguish feral pests from native animals.
“If you can’t distinguish between a pest and a person, you shouldn’t be holding a loaded gun anywhere near the public – full stop.
“At some point the Premier must put the public interest ahead of his deals with the gun lobby and terminate his plan for hunting in National Parks – let’s hope he wakes up before someone is shot and killed,” Mr Shoebridge said.