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Western Australia Proposed Firearm Law Reforms Unveiled

Western Australia is set to become the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce limits on the number of guns an individual can own under proposed firearm law reforms. 

The Firearm Act review reflects that recreational shooters will be restricted to owning five guns, while farmers will be allowed up to 10. 

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Competitive shooters may also own up to 10 firearms, with the possibility of additional licences if they compete at a national or international level. 

Police Minister Paul Papalia said public safety has been the key consideration when drafting the proposed legislation.”

The current number of licensed firearms in WA is 360,916, more than double the number in 2009. 

The proposed change would ask impacted firearm holders to dispose of excess firearms through amnesty, sale via licensed dealers, or a government-funded buyback scheme. 

“If there are fewer firearms in the community, there are fewer opportunities for them to be used illegally,” Mr Papalia said. 

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No compensation will be provided for ammunition or accessories surrendered with firearms, and unlicensed guns may be surrendered under amnesty legislation.

The Shooters Union president, Graham Park, criticised the proposal as “totally unreasonable”.

Park contends that existing systems for safe gun ownership are adequate. Farmers, on the other hand, find the 10-weapon limit acceptable for various purposes, including pest control and animal welfare.

Under the proposed laws, there will be eight specific licence types with limitations for different users. Feedback on the proposed rules can be given on the WA Police website until November 14.

The Firearms Bill Consultation Paper is set to be released for public review and consultation, providing a platform for community feedback on the proposed legislation.

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