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Western Australia will have the country’s toughest gun laws

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The Western Australian Government wants to introduce tighter regulations on gun ownership. It says the reforms would make it the toughest state on guns in Australia.
western australia gun licence

The Western Australia Government wants to introduce tighter regulations around accessing gun licences. It says the reforms would make it the toughest state on guns in Australia.

It comes after a recent spike in gun shootings, including an attack by a 15-year-old at a high school near Perth and a fatal shooting in country Western Australia.

The new proposal includes a limit on the number of guns a person can legally own and mandatory training for gun licence-holders.

The proposal

The proposal would make it harder to access a gun licence in Western Australia. Applicants will need to prove a genuine need for a gun. Acceptable reasons for a licence would include gun use for hunting, target shooting, or competitive shooting.

Gun owners would be limited to a maximum of five firearms for hunting and target shooting. Competitive shooters would be allowed to own up to 10 firearms.

Gun licence restrictions

Applicants will need to undergo physical and mental health checks before they can be granted a firearm licence, with checks also required every five years after a licence is granted.

Licence holders over 80-years-old will be required to pass a physical and mental health check once a year.

Anyone with a criminal history of violence or assault with a weapon, as well as known members of bikie gangs, will not be granted a gun licence under most circumstances.

Further measures

A firearms licence could be immediately suspended at any time, for a period of up to 10 years.

Pointing a firearm at a person or using a firearm to cause danger or fear is also set to be made an offence.

Using a gun while intoxicated, or giving a gun to an intoxicated person, will also be formally outlawed.

The measures are expected to be introduced in Western Australia’s Parliament next year.

Opposition response

Western Australia Opposition Leader Shane Love has called on the Government to extend the period for public feedback, due to close next month. He called the reforms “rushed and poorly refined”.

The Opposition has also raised concern over capping the number of guns a person can own, saying it could lead to a spike in the illegal trade of guns on the black market.

The Labor Government has a majority of seats in both houses of Parliament, meaning it won’t need extra support to pass the reforms.

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