The Legislative Council has agreed to set up an inquiry to look at changes to Tasmania’s gun laws.
Windermere MLC Ivan Dean successfully moved 10 votes to four for the inquiry when the Legislative Council sat for the first time this year.
The MLCs who opposed the inquiry were Ruth Forrest, Rob Valentine, Kerry Finch and Mike Gaffney.
On the eve of the March 5 state election, the Liberal Party proposed to double the duration of gun licenses to 10 years and make weapons such as pump-action shotguns more readily available.
Mr Dean told the council gun laws “impact a lot of people.”
“It is an emotional issue,” he said.
“Port Arthur was the greatest tragedy in this state and this country and it remains raw for many people.
“It haunts us for the rest of our lives.”
Mr Dean said he hoped the inquiry would be dealt with expeditiously but not rushed and would be completed by the end of the year.
Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest opposed the inquiry arguing it should be the government who should come up with any changes.
“Some of the changes they want are sensible but they should have happened in the last term of this government,” Ms Forrest said.
“What do the government want to do and how do they want to do it?
“They should be consulting and putting out a policy position.”
Leader of the government Leonie Hiscutt said the government supported the inquiry.
“I am a tradie and well qualified to look out for the best interests of farmers,” Ms Hiscutt said.
She will serve on the committee with Mr Dean as chair and members Robert Armstrong, Mike Gaffney, Tania Rattray and Joanna Siejka.
Meanwhile, Police Minister Michael Ferguson welcomed the Legislative Council’s inquiry into proposed changes to firearms laws.
“We understand this is an emotive issue for all Tasmanians and we are therefore very committed to engaging in extensive consultation before legislation is tabled,” Mr Ferguson said.