Documents obtained by the Greens through Freedom of Information show a disturbing lack of accountability in decision making about gun laws, and how agencies are still attempting to hide their decision making from public scrutiny. The subject of the application was information directly relating to the classification of the new rapid-fire lever action Adler A110, tens of thousands of which have been imported.
The original application was lodged in October 2016, but it has taken until now for critical information to be released by the NSW Police force.
Greens MP and Firearms Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“There is a noxious culture of secrecy behind our gun laws, with some of the most serious decisions about how guns are classified made without any transparency or public consultation.
“It should not take the better part of two years for the NSW Police to release information about the classification of a rapid fire gun, and they shouldn’t be dragged to court to do so.
“Right now the big decisions about community safety are being made by committees made up of bureaucrats, the police and the gun lobby like the Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group and the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council. They are not transparent and they are not accountable.
“It’s remarkable that despite recognising the Adler as a rapid fire weapon, similar to a pump action shotgun, the Firearms Registry was recommending it remain a category A weapon and available to hundreds of thousands of recreational shooters.
“This shows how the public’s very real and valid demands for gun control laws are not being heard by governments.”
“Our laws still allow an individual, who doesn’t even have a firearms license, to walk straight into a gun club and have immediate access to a gun. This is what led to the tragic death of Vincent Fernand. A decade later, the loophole still hasn’t been closed and no community consultation has even happened.
“There’s a reason for all of secrecy and it’s to hide some pretty ugly politics that is whittling away our gun laws,” Mr Shoebridge said.
The GIPA documents are available for download here: http://opengovernmentnsw.org.au/download/gipa-documents-relating-to-adler-a110/
The NCAT decision is available here: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5b079499e4b074a7c6e1f963