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Tasmania Liberal Party Considers Reform of Extreme Gun Restrictions, Media Attacks

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 12:25
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The Liberal Party in the Australian state of Tasmania is planning to reform some of the state’s extreme firearms laws. The modest reforms include doubling the term of Class A and B licenses terms from five to ten years and increasing the license term for class C firearms from one to two years. Class A licenses are roughly airguns, .22 rimfire, and break-open shotguns. Class B licenses are most single shot, double, and manually operated center-fire rifles. Class C license holders, can have semi-automatic rifles that hold no more than 10 rounds, and pump action shotguns. The reforms would allow Class C licenses to have silencers or suppressors.  From abc.net.au:

The Liberals have promised changes to gun laws if elected which would allow greater to access to Category C firearms — such as self-loading rifles, pump-action shotguns — for farm workers and sporting shooters.

Licence holders in category C would also be allowed gun silencers.

The proposed changes would also:
Extend gun licence duration for Category A and B firearms from five years to 10 years; or in the case of Category C, from one year to two years
 

Relax penalties for minor gun storage law breaches

The proposal was sent to a firearms consultation group, including farmers and sporting shooters, about three weeks ago, but was not released publicly.

The Liberals’ Rene Hidding wrote to firearms owners telling them the party also planned to establish a Tasmanian Firearms Owners Council.

The party released the changes several hours after media coverage, saying the policy was aimed at “helping agricultural producers, particularly farmers to protect crops”.

The reaction in the Australian national media has been spectacular. Last night the media paraded survivors from the Port Arthur massacre that happened 20+ years ago, across the screen numerous times.

The Australian anti-gun group was given time on the screen. I recall seeing one person from an Australian shooting association, and perhaps one spokesman from a farmers group. The bias in favor of the anti-gun view was as large as we see in the United States.  I recall one argument that no Australian state could be allowed to reform its gun laws, because the laws gave the rest of the world “hope”.  I estimate the anti-gun time compared to time given to those for reforming the law was easily 10 to 1.

The reforms in question are so mild and commonsense it is hard to argue with them. Queensland reformed the term of their class C license from 1 to 3 years  already, with no problems. New Zealand sells suppressors or silencers over the counter to anyone with cash, and has no problems.

The relaxation of penalties fro minor gun storage breaches is a direct response to the extreme harshness of the penalties.  In New South Wales, the police demand to destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars of valuable collector guns “because the law requires it”. One collector lost over a hundred thousand dollars of super-grade pre-64 Winchester model 70s, topped with expensive European scopes. A Supreme Court judge said that the penalties were harsh, and were meant to be harsh.

This is a local election in Tasmania. It is not national. For some perspective, Tasmania is an island separated from the continent of Australia by the Bass Strait, about 150 miles of ocean. It is about the size of West Virginia, with 518,000 residents. Before the 1996 law, Tasmania had the most moderate of firearms laws in all Australia. It has felt the harsh penalties more than any other Australian state.

The Labor party (who championed the harsh firearms laws) were in power in Tasmania for 16 years before the Liberals. The Liberal party is closer to American conservatives in policies. The Liberal party in Tasmania has been in the Majority for the last four years, and is the odds on favorite to maintain power. The Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers party has a presence in Tasmania. The Liberal party appears to be appealing to those voters.

Australia has fairly complicated voting system, with multiple parties. Voting is mandatory, with a fine of about $20 for not voting.

We should start getting election results tomorrow, the 4th of March, in Australia.

Update: The Liberal party has won the election, but the results are not final, yet.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch



Source: http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2018/03/tasmania-liberal-party-considers-reform.html

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