Tasmania Shooters and Fishers slam gun storage changes

Changes to firearms storage in Tasmania will not reduce crime, according to the Tasmanian Shooters and Fishers Party.

Members of the party have spoken out against the changes, which are expected to come into effect in December.

They are instead calling for tougher penalties for gun theft in the state.

SFP Tasmania committee member Matthew Allen said the new regulations would “unfairly place further costly restrictions on law abiding firearm owners with no positive outcome”.

“There is simply no compelling reason and certainly no supporting evidence to justify this change in storage requirements,” Mr Allen said.

One change under the new regulations is a minimum metal thickness of 2 millimetres for safes containing Category A or B firearms.

For Category C, D and H firearms, the safe must be at least 3 millimetres thick.

“There is simply no justification to place further restrictions on law abiding citizens,” Mr Allen said.

“What is urgently required are tougher penalties for firearm theft and crimes committed with a firearm, not the continual tightening of regulatory requirements which appear as an attack on law abiding firearm owners who are among the most closely scrutinized and “police checked” members of our community.

“Surely it is well past time to introduce legislation to ensure that the theft of a firearm and/or its components is made an indictable criminal offence and not simply property theft.”

Police Minister Rene Hidding said the reforms were “designed to help” gun owners.

“We have consulted extensively with the community on these changes, including delaying the finalisation of the regulations to allow time for additional feedback,” he said. 

“Many of these amendments received broad support from the firearms-owning community and have been phased in to allow plenty of time for firearm owners to comply.” 

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