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Anne Tolley

6 December, 2012

Arms Amendment Bill passes third reading

Police Minister Anne Tolley says a Bill which clarifies the definition of certain firearms and places controls on the importation of restricted airguns has passed its third reading in Parliament.

The Arms (Military Style Semi-Automatic Firearms and Import Controls) Amendment Bill clarifies the definition of military style semi-automatic firearms (MSSAs), and places controls on the importation of airguns that look like real pistols, MSSAs or restricted weapons. Importers of such airguns will now be required to have a special Police permit.

“We need to get the balance right, to enhance public safety while not penalising legitimate firearms users,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Airguns that look like real pistols, MSSAs or restricted weapons are often used by criminals, and are easily mistaken for real weapons.

“Police advise that there is at least one incident every week where one of these airguns is presented, requiring an armed Police response. This creates risks for officers and the public, and is also a drain on Police resources.

“To make communities safer we are therefore reducing the availability of airguns which look like real pistols, MSSAs or restricted weapons.

“However, legitimate airgun users may have a special reason for owning such weapons, and they can apply for a Police permit to import them. This could include collectors and those who use airguns for sporting purposes.

“Paintball airguns and toys aren’t affected by the restrictions, as long as they look nothing like real pistols, MSSAs or restricted weapons.”