Mazza shoots down firearm licence fees

18 Jul, 2014 02:00 AM
Shooters and Fishers Party Upper House Member Rick Mazza.
There was a promise of a review of the act and nothing has been done.
Shooters and Fishers Party Upper House Member Rick Mazza.

FIREARM license fees have come under attack from Shooters and Fishers Party Upper House Member Rick Mazza ,who moved a disallowance motion in parliament last month.

It was the second time in less than 12 months Mr Mazza had resorted to moving the motion as discontent with increasing fees continued.

On July 1 last year, firearm licence application fees went up by as much as 147 per cent as part of the Police Department's plans to recoup costs.

Following the outrage at the department's fee rises, the State Government announced its intention to have the law reform commission review the Firearms Act 1973.

But Mr Mazza said it was now made clear a report from the Law Reform Commission wouldn't be available until September 2015.

"I moved the disallowance motion in September last year and nothing has happened since then," he said.

"There was a promise of a review of the act and nothing has been done."

To add insult to injury Mr Mazza said there had been another increase on July 1 this year.

"They raised the fees again this year and while they are only incremental increases, there has been no improvement to services," he said.

"The bottom line is there was supposed to be changes made to make the department more efficient and that hasn't happened."

According to Mr Mazza, firearm licence fees in WA were out of whack with fees in other States and a review would make WA's system more modernised and force the reduction of the fee to be consistent with other States.

Liberal Member for Southern River Peter Abetz, last year chaired a report into firearm regulations and said he wouldn't expect any change in legislation before 2016.

"It is disappointing this has taken so long but the wheels of government turn exceedingly slowly," he said.

"The downside is these exorbitant fees will continue to be in place for at least another year."

Acting Police Minister John Day said the Law Reform Commissioner has been requested to undertake a full and thorough examination of the Firearms Act in accordance with its terms of reference, which includes a public consultation process.

"The review will result in a detailed report and recommendations for any changes to the Firearms Act," he said.

"The current fee structure is based on the recovery of costs to run the system.

"Until the review is completed the State Government is not prepared to comment on any possible outcome or impacts on fee structures. "

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18/07/2014 7:10:20 AM, on Farm Weekly

The WA government and police service obviously doesn't take the issue of an efficient firearms licensing service very seriously at all. They deflect criticism with claims that the fees are "cost recovery" while failing to address the fact that their system is the worst in the country ! This situation suits WAPOL's culture of impeding recreational shooters as much as possible. WA is in the Dark Ages when it comes to Firearms Regulations, for no discernible benefit to the general public, and at great cost to Law Abiding Firearms Owners. Bravo to the SFP for being able to pursue this issue
18/07/2014 3:01:06 PM, on Farm Weekly

So much for the review of the Firearms act "from the ground up" as promised by the Minister. The outlines for the review indicates a gab fest and the intention to change nothing. Also I have written to the Min for foreign Affairs (Bishop WA) and asked if the WA firearms register was asked for or handed to the UN as part of the recently signed 'small arms treaty'. I did receive a reply that avoided that question quite well.
18/07/2014 5:06:33 PM, on Farm Weekly

Well done Mr Mazza! As an ex-farmer, country person, I have felt the resentment towards "legal and respectable" firearms owners from the city folk who really have no idea of the responsibility of owning a firearm. Unfortunately this has come about from "MEDIA" sensationalism from and fear/knee jerk reactions produced by government via the media to gain votes, to ensure their perception of being active against crime. The stats also are overlooked as most firearm related crimes are with "illegal" firearms, not legally owned firearms. I'm disgusted with the Liberal, Labor and NCP attitudes.
22/07/2014 1:45:43 PM, on Farm Weekly

I have also been in touch with Rick Mazza on this issue. I have put in a submission on the review to the Firearms Act & was appalled when I found out that it wouldn't even be started until Sept, 2015. I have lobbied my local MP about this & suggest you all do the same. The Government is treating legitimate firearms owners with the utmost contempt!


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