Lever action shotguns reclassified into tightest legal ranking, changes labelled 'unfair'

LEVER action shotguns – “tools of the trade” to the North West farming community – have officially been reclassified into the tightest legal ranking.

The Firearms and Weapons Legislation Amendment Act 2017 came into effect on November 1, re-categorising lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity of no more than five rounds from a category A to a category B, and those with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds from a category A to a category D.

“My opinion is that it should have been a category B, where farmers could have bought the rifle shotgun,” Mr Williams said on Thursday.

“It’s just inconsistent.”

“To me, it’s a tool of the trade for farmers, especially for (controlling) wild pigs,” he said.

“In a category B, you can get a 10-slot semi-automatic rifle, so it’s inconsistent. It’s a bit unfair in my opinion.”

Tamworth licensed firearms dealer Craig Mearns, Calibre Country owner, said local licence holders would not be impacted too harshly.

“I think most people here have a category A or B anyway, so it’s not going to affect too many people,” he said.

“It might just be a bit of a paperwork headache.”

On 1 November 2017, the Firearms and Weapons Legislation Amendment Act 2017 amended the Firearms Act 1996, the Firearms Regulation 2017, the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 and the Weapons Prohibition Regulation 2017 to provide for the updated National Firearms Agreement.

The NSW Police Firearms Registry is communicating with all licence holders who own a lever action shotgun to provide details regarding the arrangements that will occur to accommodate each circumstance.

Affected licence holders are reminded that while their current firearms licence remains in force, they will continue to be authorised to possess and use your shotgun whilst the transitional arrangements are being finalised. 

GUN CONTROL: Mallowa farmer Stewart Hughes supports a lift on the Adler shotgun ban but believes the weapon should be heavily classified.

GUN CONTROL: Mallowa farmer Stewart Hughes supports a lift on the Adler shotgun ban but believes the weapon should be heavily classified.

A spokesperson for Police Minister Troy Grant told The Leader in a statement on Thursday the importation ban remained in place.

“It is our understanding that the Commonwealth importation ban on lever action shotguns with more than five rounds will be removed once all State and Territory jurisdictions legislatively implement the new classification for lever-action shotguns,” the spokesman said.

LICENCE CATEGORIES AND FIREARM TYPES:

The Adler lever action shotgun.

The Adler lever action shotgun.

What firearms are applicable to a Category A firearms licence?

  • Air rifles.
  • Rimfire rifles (other than self-loading).
  • Shotguns (other than pump action or self-loading).
  • Shotgun/rimfire combinations.
  • All prohibited firearms are excluded from this licence category. Prohibited firearms are listed in Schedule 1 of the Firearms Act 1996.

What firearms are applicable to a Category B firearms licence?

  • Muzzle-loading firearms (other than pistols).
  • Centre-fire rifles (other than self-loading).
  • Shotgun/centre-fire rifle combinations.
  • All prohibited firearms are excluded from this licence category. Prohibited firearms are listed in Schedule 1 of the Firearms Act 1996.

What firearms are applicable to a Category C firearms licence?

  • Self-loading rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity of no more than 10 rounds.
  • Self-loading shotguns with a magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds.
  • Pump action shotguns with a magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds.
  • These firearms are prohibited except for limited purposes.
  • Some firearms, specifically those adapted for military purposes, are excluded under all circumstances from this licence category.

What firearms are applicable to a Category D firearms licence?

  • Self-loading centre-fire rifles.
  • Self-loading rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity of more than 10 rounds.
  • Self-loading shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds. * Pump action shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds.
  • Any firearms to which a Category C licence applies.
  • These firearms are prohibited except for official purposes. Some firearms, specifically those adapted for military purposes, are excluded under all circumstances from this licence category.

What firearms are applicable to a Category H firearms licence?

  • Pistols (including blank fire pistols and air pistols).
  • Prohibited firearms are excluded from this licence category. Prohibited pistols are not authorised for Sport/Target shooters.

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