National party Press Release:

A leaked copy of the government’s Arms Legislation Bill reveals law-abiding firearms owners and gun clubs will be hit hardest, rather than gangs and genuine criminals, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says.

“I’m worried about the path this government is going down on gun reform. The fact yet another sensitive government paper has been leaked to National suggests I’m not alone.

“This legislation will make life hard for gun clubs, lumping them with more cost and regulation by requiring them to be incorporated societies that are certified by a commissioner every five years.

“The government is using a big stick to achieve compliance by increasing many penalties from $1000 to $10,000. It shows they don’t believe this legislation naturally encourages compliance.

“The new law will usurp the role of the courts by giving police the power to judge what constitutes hate speech or extremism. We already have laws governing this and it should be judges who determine a breach, not officers on the beat.

“Medical practitioners will also be obliged to notify police if they’re concerned about the mental or physical condition of a firearms owner. This risks driving mental health issues underground by discouraging people from seeing their doctor about such sensitive issues.

“There’s also no genuine details about the proposed gun register in the legislation, despite it eating up the lion’s share of the $40m-50m the government has estimated the reforms will cost.

“I fear it’ll be a waste of money and won’t do a thing to catch criminals. It will just increase the burden on law-abiding people and cost taxpayers much more than current estimates.

“National supports more effective gun control that targets genuine criminals and extremists, rather than everyone who owns a gun.

“We have put a Members Bill back into the Ballot that would introduce Firearms Prohibition Orders, and ensure gang members cannot hold a firearms licence. It will also allow police to carry out searches on gang members who have a history of serious crimes.”