Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Justice spokesperson
With the Legislative Council’s announcement they are dumping their Firearms Inquiry, the Liberals have been quick to move to establish a House of Assembly Parliamentary Committee to inquire into firearms laws and future policy.
This should be seen for what it is – a backdoor for the Liberals to satisfy the shooting lobby and keep alive the secret pre-election deal they struck to weaken Tasmania’s gun laws.
If the Liberals are serious about not undermining the National Firearms Agreement, they need to formally scrap their dangerous firearms policy. It includes a number of serious breaches, such as plans to legalise silencers, create a new firearms category, double the licence period for firearms, loosen storage conditions, and open up the restricted firearms category.
Victims of gun violence and gun control advocates have identified a significant number of Tasmanian laws that are already outside the National Firearms Agreement.
The Liberals have no reason to establish a parliamentary inquiry process into Tasmania’s gun laws, unless it’s about investigating ways to strengthen them.
The Liberals’ secret election policy to weaken the state’s gun laws, struck with the firearms lobby and revealed by the Greens prior to the State election, was designed by the previous Police Minister Rene Hidding. New Police Minister, Michael Ferguson, must now hold firm on the strong tripartite National Firearms Agreement successive state governments have upheld and has kept people safe for 20 years.