The Andrews Labor Government’s decision to ban Victorian recreational shooters from buying ammunition came under fire in State Parliament today.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath called on Minister for Police, Hon Lisa Neville to reverse the ban and allow retailers to sell firearms and ammunition.
“Labor’s decision to implement this ban on 31 March was clearly not based on National Cabinet advice as originally stated by Minister Neville at her press conference,” said Ms Bath.
“This week we have learned ammunition and firearms bans were only enforced in the Labor governed states of Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.
“Clearly this was a political decision and not a decision of the National Cabinet.”
Ms Bath said Victorian licenced firearm owners are among the most regulated, vetted and law-abiding citizens in the state.” said Ms Bath.
“Their ability to hold a Victoria firearms licence is dependent on them continually upholding the law. Recreational shooters do not take their licence for granted,” said Ms Bath.
“It is most concerning that Labor justified the firearms and ammunition ban with the inference shooters were stockpiling ammunition in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Bath said Labor’s ammunition ban had inflicted further unnecessary economic pain to regional businesses where firearms and ammunition sales are necessary for pest control.
“Banning ammunition sales has cost the Victorian firearms industry multi millions of dollars,” said Ms Bath.
Consequently, the Andrews Government has forced thousands of Victorians out of work at a time when they can least afford it and it has allowed pests such as foxes and rabbits to go virtually uncontrolled in regional Victoria.
“Discussions with industry indicate the increase in firearms purchases was driven by consumers buying up ahead of planned price rises rather than Andrews Government rhetoric around panic buying and concerns of increased gun violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am calling on Minister Neville to reverse the ban and allow retailers to go back to selling firearms and ammunition,” Ms Bath said.