HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER, KAREN ANDREWS, doesn’t seem to be taking the needs of the firearms industry seriously.

It’s not helped by her bureaucrats who are being disingenuous in their efforts to defend the advice they’re giving her. In this story:

  • The Department of Home Affairs has one last go at trying to justify why appearance laws exist on the Minister’s behalf;
  • The examples they use have nothing to do with appearance, but illegal conduct;
  • A member of the NSW Police Force confirms basis for appearance laws doesn’t exist.

In this recent story we told you how we challenged Minister Andrews to justify our appearance laws after the states made it clear they were based on speculation.

You will recall they specifically pointed to arguments based on incidents that “could”, “may” or had the “potential” to happen, and an “assumption”.  We also revealed that through Daniel Mossop, a senior public servant, the Minister claimed there were ‘numerous incidents’ that justified the laws.

Intrigued, we wrote back to Minister Karen Andrews challenging her to provide an example of where the ‘numerous incidents’ happened. We received no response by our deadline so went live with our article and related video which received over 800 shares on Facebook.

The belated response

Since the story, Mr Mossop provided a response. 

His letter, dated after the story and which you can see by clicking here, points to three examples that justify the appearance laws.


Being clear about what we asked

When we challenged the Minister, we specifically asked that any examples needed to relate to how the firearm appears.  Importantly the examples should not relate to other offences – such as possessing unregistered firearms – because that has nothing to do with appearance laws which relate to legally held cat A and B firearms.

A further useful criteria is that the offence needed to be relevant to how a ‘first responder’ might deal with the sighting of a firearm in a different way because of what it looked like.

This is because the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Justice, Mark Taylor MP, provided this explanation of why appearance laws exist, at least in NSW:

That’s pretty clear. The law – at least according to NSW – is designed to address ‘additional’ intimidation or threats because of how a firearm looks, and how first responders assess an ‘incident’.

The examples

The three examples Mr Mossop provided in his response to us were anything but that. Here is what he said:

His last line gives it away.  All the examples the Federal Government has used to justify the law, relied upon conduct that was already illegal. 

Let’s go through the media reports he attached to Mr Mossop’s letter.  In summary:

Incident 1: The report says a man was charged after being charged “in possession of a firearm” which was a replica “assault rifle” in Orange NSW.  The ‘gun’ was unregistered.  He was also charged with possessing a knife. 

In other words, the ‘incident’ had nothing to do with appearance of a cat A or B firearm because it was an unregistered replica which has its own requirements.

Incident 2: The report said a Victorian walker fled in fear after observing someone with a replica rifle.  Two men were charged with possession offences which again implies conduct that is already dealt with by existing firearm laws. 

The guns were gel blasters (incorrectly referred to imitations and replicas in the article) which also have their own requirements.  Again, this matter has nothing to do with the appearance of a cat A or B.

Incident 3: This report is about an incident that occurred in the US. 

Not even remotely relevant to Australia.

The simple fact remains the Federal Government has provided no examples to justify it’s position. Instead, it has based its position on illegal conduct involving replicas and a gel blaster, and not a lawfully held category A or B firearm that looked like a category D.

The Minister is ultimately responsible for this, and we intend to get her to get the  law changed.

Danny's dummy spit

As a final sign off to his letter, Mr Mossop said:.
Federal Government shuts door on appearance laws

We’re happy with that – mainly because we never wrote to the Department.   We wrote to the Minister.


NSW Detective confirms nsc's position

In recent days we received contact from a current serving member of NSW Police.

You might recall that it was the NSW Government that provided the first responder explanation.In his many years as a detective, he:

“investigated numerous Homicides, robberies, home invasions in which firearms were used (easily 500+ incidents) and none of which any firearms which could be described as “full auto” or “military” in appearance were used (and none were Cat C or D).”

In addition, this officer received his own reply from the Federal Government which offered a  different explanation of why the law exists.  In the response (which you can read in full by clicking here). 

In summary, it offers the alternate explanation that the Government does not believe the current system of firearm categorisation is able to deal with advances in technology and needs appearance laws to fill that void.

However the letter does not explain what the problem with changes in technology is. Firearm actions haven’t changed much at all in well over 100 years, so it would seem that explanation doesn’t work.

Sorry Minister Andrews. Try again.

29 thoughts on “Appearance laws: Karen Andrews fails to provide examples

  1. Tristan says:

    Thank you for all your hard work. I really appreciate the fight your taking to the anti firearms dim wits! ????

  2. Mike Woods says:

    Awesome work! Stick it to these morons who for some reason are paid by the ‘public purse’. Well done NSC, well done indeed!

  3. Rick Williams says:

    Keep up the great work guys as we will all benefit from it and it will keep the bastards honest.

  4. JAMES+BEATTIE says:

    Mr Mossop is a Public Servant. He is told to justify a policy made by his employer. Is he going to go against their edict and risk losing his juicy job? I don’t think so!

  5. John Bladen says:

    WOW! So now the Federal Government, is basing Federal Legislation, on dubious reports in the Main Stream Media?
    Have they ever done the same thing with Motor Vehicles, you know, if they are actually really concerned about Public Safety. After all, over 1000 Australian’s will die, and 10’s of thousands will be seriously injured on our roads every year.

    • Neil Jenkins says:

      Yes, clause 28. It states, in classifying category D:
      Semi-automatic centrefire rifles designed or adapted for military purposes or a firearm which substantially duplicates those rifles in design, function or appearance

  6. Philip Walter says:

    Appearance laws are going to be the end of people being able to own M16s or AR10s to hang on the wall in their man cave We cannot own the real thing so plaztic is al l that is left
    These copies have been arpung since i was a boy 60 years and are stil l advertised on TV overseas
    For children and adults
    If we based all ourr lives on Appearance we would have a very sad society and all actors would be out of a job
    Why is everyone judged over the actions of a few idiots

  7. Gary says:

    Great work NSC. We all need to support the efforts made and put pressure on all politicians to show what a debacle this is.

  8. Ross Oehms says:

    Once again the various Government agencies are more interested in political “spin,” which incidentally will not protect the public . The various issues about firearms are ALWAYS dealt with in a political sense, where is the logic?

  9. Brian Sayers says:

    A knife of any description will terrify citizens if produced in a public place, however these are not illegal?
    I fathom to understand our Police Ministers reasoning about anything.
    Do they ever do any research?
    How do they retain their excessive income?
    Incompetence should not be rewardes

  10. Andrew says:

    Karen Andrews really is a “Karen” Thanks for the hard work N S C Thanks for the support here in WA. ????

  11. darryn worthy says:

    so do we ring the police if we look at a person who looks or appears bad based on looks, like face tattoos?
    or a car that an L or P platers drivers drive, are they charged with driving a car that looks like a v8 or turbo? based on looks? no it is ridiculous.
    do we ring the police for a Muslim who carries a back pack because he looks like a bomber?
    most police i have dealt with over 40 years cannot identify a shotgun from a rifle, or type, or caliber the average legal gun is, and those police decide function and looks….really its a joke.
    polices jobs is firearms and most are found to have very little knowledge of firearms at all except what they see on the tv.

  12. Pete Collins says:

    A mate of mine used to carry his .22 on 2 different buses to get to where he could hunt rabbits on the outskirts of Newcastle. No one on those buses used to take offence or be intimidated. What has happened to society.

    • David M says:

      In short: Hollywood. Their film houses employ “psychological warfare experts” (from their armed forces) to advise on traumatising the audience, so a concept, spoken or visual, can be delivered in a state of suspended judgement. The end results would take up quite a list, but to be brief:
      – morality is inverted, and so is the doctrine or concept of forgiveness, thus inverting society (it’s their view of a line in Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War: to destroy anything of value in a target country so no one will resist your takeover of it);
      – where there are guns there is the killing of people;
      – guns are bad, but killing with guns is necessary for entertainment (this induces cognitive dissonance, where the mind believes conflicting things, the resulting mental stress leads to a type of illness – that sums up those who accuse anyone opposing banning guns of mental illness);
      – the incomprehension that feral pigs prey on and kill livestock, or, if big enough, damage fences and are a threat to people, including adults, as a traumatised audience clings to the source of its trauma for its ideas of reality and what to do, and;
      – The focus now is on occultic symbolism, as that confuses concepts within a population.
      Mutts have completely perverted this country, but as I said, the list goes on, and if you take a cynical look, Hollywood is a geopolitical tool:


      Your mate wasn’t the only one, kids on their way to school took rifles and shot out the open windows when feral pigs were bad in that region, and so on, but I should point out that a law or rule somewhere has always given the driver the right to refuse carriage to someone carrying a gun – before Hollywood. It’s up to their discretion. You could also add the kids who rode their bikes to Manly Dam in Sydney during the Depression, with shotguns over their handlebars, and shot the family dinner.

      And we are turning a corner: a lot of young people have been increasingly disillusioned by what’s on television for years. The hype and fear over a virus with a 99.7% survival rate for those of Northern European descent under 80 has heightened this. It’s still a few years too early, but it’s a good idea to think about standardizing calibres and so on for an Australia after the anti-firearm hate. An Australia where semi-automatic is not seen as a problem. That Australia will not have Hollywood productions.

  13. Freddey says:

    If this country was subjected to an invasion would the anti gunners want to help
    defend the country, or step back and let those of us with firearm experience risk our lives to save these bits of scum. Would the police want us to have rifles that did not look intimidating to the enemy. Can any sense be made of this nonsense.
    Goodness sake i used to shoot roos on my way to school. I would keep the rifle in the back shed of the school grounds. Never a problem, and just between you and I the teacher would have a few shots after school with it.

  14. Fred nehl says:

    Who says we have to defend the anti gun, greens, politicians and police they can defend the country first. There is over a million shooters out there, we should all say take away our rights, sport and hobbies they can defend themselves and we will take are of our family and friends. Our military is what 60 to80 thousand tops is long will that last and boy my nephew Joined the army recently and they were so surprised to get an applicant with a licence and could shoot telling him how rare it was. The stories we get even the NGOs training don’t have much of a clue he says and he has eve had to tell them stuff.

  15. Kaz Branecki says:

    It does not matter which major political party holds office these days, they are both corrupt, lying hypocrites that have no care or consideration for everyday Aussies, especially the Sporting Shooter / Hunting kind! We’ve now become an easy target for them both & with The Greens adding insult to injury, it can’t get much worse. Glad I joined the NSC & will hopefully get my hunting mates on board as well.

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  17. grandad says:

    I have my hair very short from years as a welder so that makes me a skin head does it?
    Keep up the good work.

  18. Velish says:

    Why is it that all the various groups arent putting pressure on to get rid of PTA and appearance laws? The PTA seems to be just a money maker and the appearance laws are a complete joke.
    There are always stories on the various sites telling how they have sent a letter here or there but nothing is ever changed or even any sort of ripple caused.
    Maybe it is just me not seeing what is happening….
    Seems to me that the easiest way to get proper change to gun laws is pick one thing, something simple that isnt a big deal to the government really compared to what it would mean to shooters, Get everyone working together on it, NSC, SSAA, SU etc and all their members combined and celebrate a small win such as removal of appearance law, or barrel length on pistols or PTA.

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