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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 326 asked in the Legislative Council on 2 April 2020 by Hon Aaron Stonehouse

Minister responding: Hon M.H. Roberts
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

CORONAVIRUS — SHOOTING SPORTS AND FIREARMS INDUSTRY

326. Hon AARON STONEHOUSE to the minister representing the Minister for Police:

I refer the minister to the answer provided yesterday to my question without notice 303 on the new regulations being brought in to close gun stores. I broadly welcome confirmation that the Western Australia Police Force continues to issue further information and clarification as required. It has since come to my attention that South Australia Police has issued a similar clarification on category H licence holders within its jurisdiction.

(1) Is the minister aware of the letter from South Australia Police, reference ''AH'', issued earlier this week which grants an exemption for category H firearm holders who would otherwise be required to attend six shoots per year, with this exemption to have effect for the next six months and having been introduced specifically to address concerns around COVID-19 and social distancing?

(2) In the interests of having a single, unambiguous standard across jurisdictions during this crisis, will the minister encourage the WA police firearms branch to take a similar approach here in Western Australia; and, if not, why not?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following answer has been provided to me by the Minister for Police.

The Western Australia Police Force advises the following.

(1)–(2) In the context of the state of emergency in Western Australia to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, police have decided to assist community members who are required as a condition of their licence to attend a specific number of club meetings during a calendar year by the licensing enforcement division, by using police powers of discretion to not pursue prosecutions for any legitimate breaches of this legislative requirement. Police provided correspondence to clubs outlining this position on 23 March 2020.