GUN control advocate Roland Browne has again refused to join a consultative committee considering firearms reforms while vowing to ramp up a campaign to stop a push to "water down our laws".
Police Minister David O'Byrne met with Mr Browne on Tuesday to ask him to reconsider his position about the committee, but yesterday Mr Browne said he would not change his mind. Instead, he said he would see if anyone else in the gun control lobby was interested in sitting on the committee, which is dominated by shooters.
Mr O'Byrne had been expected to table amendments to the Firearms Act, designed to reduce gun theft, this month, but yesterday he would not commit to a timeline.
"This is a vexed issue and we are continuing to consult," he told Parliament yesterday.
He also defended the make-up of the committee.
"We have representation from additional agencies such as the Department of Health, particularly dealing with mental health, education, parks and wildlife, and relevant sections of Tasmania Police such as Safe At Home.
Mr Browne yesterday joined with women's groups, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust and other organisations that want stricter conditions placed on gun owners and tougher penalties for theft.
He feared shooters were pressuring the state government to relax gun laws by increasing access to semi- automatic and other military type rifles.
"All that will stop them is a loud community voice demanding a higher standard of public safety. This includes better storage requirements for all guns (with back to base alarms), and a ban on semi- automatic handguns," Mr Browne said.