KEY POINTS:

  • The Adler B230T is not going to be reclassified in NSW
  • However, a variant of the Berika straight-pull shotgun has been reclassified to category D: other versions will remain category A
  • The NSC remains the only organisation that will take legal action if we can find an applicant seeking to purchase that variant.

By now you may have heard the NSW registry has folded its tent and decided against reclassifying the Alder B230T straight-pull shotgun to category D.  That’s the outcome we had hoped for.

A number of shooting organisations and groups have had something to say on their efforts to fight the ban.

Whilst the NSC does not claim it was all our work we did everything we publicly said we would do to fight NSW registry on the matter. 

In addition to our representations to government, the NSC called out for owners to contact us and were flooded with responses.  After speaking with these owners, we found those who were willing to stand up and be applicants in legal action and we prepared a brief for the NSC’s barrister to start legal action in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).  All we needed was the final decision. 

As you may be aware, the NSC has developed a library of legal arguments and authorities from its earlier actions interstate which we were ready to use, had the decision gone the other way.

We also reached out to our political contacts in Canberra to make sure the NSW coalition government got the message about the potential consequences of its proposed actions.

Aside from our own work, we also acknowledge the great work of SSAA Illawarra (the only SSAA NSW branch that stood up publicly ready to fight) and Shooting Stuff Australia and Australian Hunting Podcast whose livestream podcast show we believe, were factors in the decision. 

Berika straight-pull shotgun

The registry has also backed down on the Berika Black Ops and other variants.  

However, it is still banning the folding stocks. It is permitting them to be sold only if they are ‘pinned’ in place, which prevents their closure. 

While it is good news that the registry has mostly backed down, it remains the fact that the gun remains subject to that restriction, which is still a reclassification.

While other organisations are seeing what may be a negotiated settlement as a win, our view is that this restriction is still an unacceptable policy that must be challenged.  This is especially the case if this was done to appease the registry staff member who has fought long and hard to ban something, and has tried to reclassify other firearms based on the types of bolt actions and comb heights, which are permissible feature in some top end category firearms.

The NSC is therefore still prepared to take action if we can find an applicant who wants to buy the gun with an unpinned stock because we do not believe it is in our interests to accept reclassification. 

Competency of reclassification staff

In 2019, the NSC wrote to all firearm registries seeking information on the qualifications and experience of those staff who reclassify firearms, because we believe that those who reclassify firearms must be competent to do so. 

Some registries responded quickly and with good information. Others responded in ways which failed to provide sufficient information. 

The NSW registry’s response provided NO information on qualifications or experience which led to the lowest rating of all registries. In other words, the staff who made the decision on the Berika variant has already failed to demonstrate that they were competent to make the decision. 

As we have seen in the past, including with the recent decision to force border clubs to cut affiliations with interstate organisations, serious questions need to asked over the competency of the NSW registry and its ability to manage firearms in NSW. 

This matter is far from over and shows why it is necessary to support those organisations who stand up for shooters. 

Can you afford to NOT to do that?  Click here to  join the NSC.

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