WA POLICE MINISTER, PAUL PAPALIA, has announced the introduction of regular mental health checks for WA shooters, in a move that could easily spread to other states.
We all knew Papalia hated guns and was going to spring surprises in the ‘review’ of the state’s gun laws, but this move is a serious attack on shooters that needs a swift response.
If you missed the earlier news, then check out this story from the ABC.
Wasting no time
We have moved quickly to respond to the latest attack by WA’s Police Minister, Paul Papalia.
The move will not only make obtaining a licence more expensive and time consuming, but add significant delays in obtaining or renewing licences. That’s because psychologists will usually only make assessments of people who they have known for several years.
The other problem the government hasn’t even considered is that the increase in “demand” for their services for people who don’t have a problem, will make it more difficult for other clients, who do have problems, to get appointments.
Simply put, it’s a bad policy that is not only aimed at reducing gun ownership, but hasn’t even been thought through.
It also puts WA out of step with a 2016 review of the WA Firearms Act by the Law Reform Commission which actually recommended some existing laws be removed and streamlined.
We've made early key decisions
With the WA Parliament sitting again next week, we have written to every state MP in WA urging them to oppose the new laws.
We have asked that they demand an audit of the state’s laws against the 2016 Law Reform Commission report and the National Firearms Agreement.
While we hate the NFA, believe it or not, what shooters in WA have now is worse. For them, alignment with the NFA would at least get them “half way” back to where we need to be.
For example, in WA, every firearm is licenced – every year – while that is not required in other states once a firearm is registered. Even getting a firearm approved in WA costs $256.
Mental health checks are simply an insane new impost on shooters out west.
We put out a media release which has already had a good run in WA. Plus we have another one lined up to go out in the next couple of days.
Freedom of information requests
We’ve also put in a Freedom of Information request in relation to claims the minister made to the media.
In particular, we have asked to see the consultation comments that the minister says he has that show broad support for the new laws.
What else is being done?
We’re also creating a Political Action Committee and putting plans in to tackle the 2025 WA State Election. If you are likely to be involved in the election, please let us know.
Also, if you have formal qualifications in mental health and are willing to speak out, please let us know. If you know a shooter who is a psychologist, then we’re definitely interested in having a chat with them!
The other thing about this is the risk that this proposal will expand into other states. We can’t let that happen.
Now is not the time to sit back and let ‘someone else’ tackle the problem. We need you – and we need you now.
Join the NSC so we can do more of what we do best – which is to look after shooters and beat attacks like this from occuring.