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No Advice from Police on Liberal Gun Policy

21 Jun 2018

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Police spokesperson

Premier Hodgman today refused to back down from his party’s policy to weaken the State’s gun laws, despite information coming to light that Tasmania Police believe it risks contravening the National Firearms Agreement. 

The Liberals’ plans to water down Tasmania’s firearms laws, cooked up with the gun lobby in secret, were revealed by the Greens on the eve of the March 3 election. After that revelation, Premier Hodgman tried to hose down public outrage by assuring voters his former-Police Minister had provided advice the policy would not breach the National Firearms Agreement.

Documents obtained under Right to Information by the ABC show Tasmania Police’s report to the Liberal Government on their policy was prepared in March.

Given the government was in caretaker mode for the first three days of March, it seems clear the Liberals never actually sought advice from the Tasmanian Police prior to the election. 

These RTI documents also clearly show the police consider the Liberals’ dangerous gun policy risks breaching the National Firearms Agreement. This is exactly what Gun Control Australia warned of when this policy was revealed by the Greens.

It also describes the Liberal policy as wide-ranging, with uncosted commitments to the gun lobby that would require substantial resource imposts, and need more staff or a reduction in other police services to fulfil them.

The Tasmania Police Report paints a clear picture. The police weren’t consulted prior to the Liberals penning the policy, and when they were asked their advice – after the election – they warned the risk of this dangerous policy under the National Firearms Agreement.

It is hard to escape the conclusion Premier Hodgman was attempting to mislead Tasmanians when he said, prior to the election, their firearms policy wouldn’t breach the NFA.