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.
16 thoughts on “NSC response to Papalia’s attack on WA shooters”
This is in line with very recent discussions at a national/state conference; W A seems to be the only state to react so quickly. I actually spoke to my GP yesterday on the discussions; he is sympathetic; so much so as to express support for “carry” laws! (As an aside, I live in Townsville, er, Crimesville, in the unsafe state of Queensland, having personal experience of juvie crime activities going back over 30 years . Meanwhile, can you confirm my membership of the NSC? I think I “joined up” …
Hi Geoff, yes you are a member. You took out a 2 year membership, commencing October 11, 2022
More resources wasted is all this is going to achieve!Psychologists are already stretched to the limit & all this policy will do is have citizens who genuinely need mental help are going to miss out due to Psychologists being tied up with appointments from citizens who are trying to obtain a firearm licence. This policy sounds like their has had little to no thought into the problems & stress this is going to put on the mental health system.
The entire health system is broken right accross Australia & WA wants to add more stress to an already broken system.
I suggest the first and most important step is getting all gun owners to terminate their membership in all other shooting associations and join the NSC – this is certainly possible in WA – none of the other shooting associations are opposing the proposed changes – and most if not all will advocate compliance – I suggest this should be the strategic goal for the NSC in WA – a unified shooting community in WA is more of a threat to the WA government and WA police than litigation.
The ministers statement about shootings needs to be scrutinised for accuracy – His inability to monitor the rogue elements in the community ,house break ins and burglaries needs scrutiny -He distracts by pushing the barrow against legitimate ,licensed firearm owners who are mostly club enthusiasts – All shooters should vote this government out- What is Mark McGovern doing to control this fascist minister – Sensible and practical legislation is important for all governing but these actions are ridiculous and demonstrates we get what idiots vote for- This state is heading down the fascist path and heaven help us –
Why doesn’t the Minister introduce mental health checks for driving licenses?
Aggressive, inconsiderate, and pure bad road manners committed by drivers who break the law cause more deaths in WA and around the World than legitimate firearm owners by millions. Save lives, disqualify drivers with mental deficiencies.
Before any checks be made against the community; mental checks should be made against those who create new laws when they don’t enforce the existing ones and definitely don’t do much to the betterment of society.
So… in simple terms…. The Clown Papalia should be first to be scrutinized.
The minister’s statement o. shooting related deaths is purposefully vague – how many of the deaths were from licensed firearms?
This law will result in fewer people seeking the mental health support they need. If seeking help means a person may not be granted a new license, or a renewal, why would they then seek help?
You might want to point out that Anders Brevnik the Norwegian mass shooter who killed sixty four people under went a mental health assessment before receiving his licence and passed with flying colours. In fact all EU countries have had this system in place for decades yet mass shootings still occur there. Another issue I see here is that most psychiatrists will simply fail most persons wanting to apply for a gun licence for fear that a person could potentially go off the deep end in the future ruining his business and reputation forever. Also what’s to stop an applicant playing a big game and simply lying about their mental health status during the interview process. In my opinion all this is going to do is drive the whole stigma of mental illness underground even further . Perhaps WA police minister should undergo a mental health check himself for coming up with such stupid idea in the first place. I mean how many ex-ADF personal out there do you know have mental health issues? Maybe we could solve the problem by just banning people from enlisting in the military instead.
Do you really believe Papallia would pass a mental health assessment?
One wonders on what factual evidence the Minister has based his decision on, perhaps the NSC can ask the Minister if WA Police members will be required to undergo similar mental health checks on a regular basis or even builders who use nail guns, powder monkeys, the list goes on.
This “crazy” idea comes up every few years , somewhere in Australia. This is just WA’s turn.
In the past it has “crashed and burned” because even psychologists admit that it is ineffective. Apart from a few gross psychopathologies, there is no test that will predict future behaviour. A person may pass “sane” and go “postal” a few hours after leaving the consultation. In addition, some one suffering from a serious psychopathology can become quite adept at “gaming the system”: just look at any parliament.
UNBELIEVABLE! An all time year high of suicides, 950+, just here in Victoria. Sure to be similar in the other states. Where’s the real help for these poor souls? But no, let’s add to the overloaded system with a needle in a haystack search.
This will no doubt show another glaring example of the SSAA sitting on their hands ,and the deafening silence from them over this vehement show of authority by a person in power .
The lack of support shown for the members of the SSAA in any way is deplorable, ,because of past indifference demonstrated by the SSAA in all controversial proposals / decisions ,which adversely affect its members ,I have terminated my SSAA membership ,. Thank you NSC , you have my support .
This may sound like heresy to some, but IMHO the only hope for reasonable gun laws in WA, will be if and when State governments are abolished.
Police are supposed to enforce the laws of the country not make the laws. This is way out of bounds, and should not be happening.