NSW Police's massive rush to judgement

THE NSC HAS HAD yet another win in a legal case, this time for our disabled shooters.

Readers might recall we published this story about Patrick, who was confined to a wheelchair.

NSW Police had barred Patrick from being able to store a handgun at home out of fears that he would not be able to safely secure it, even though he could use a safe at his local range.

As we said in the story, Patrick is not his real name.  In a recent NCAT case, an order was put in place prohibiting the publishing of his name due to security concerns.  The order requires us to refer to him as FLO, which is what we will do.

This is a story of triumph over the NSW Police, who still hold the view that disabled shooters are not capable of looking after firearms properly. 

It took an NCAT case to get justice.

NSC takes the matter to NCAT

The matter, which was heard by Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Walker, was filed in July 2021.

The NCAT heard how FLO’s cat H licence had a condition that his handgun but could only be stored at his local SSAA range.  The reason given by police was that the applicant suffers from a serious health condition that limits his mobility and he requires a carer to assist him at home.

When the special condition was originally imposed, FLO applied for an internal review of the condition on the ground that it was “without basis”.

The condition was reimposed on 21 May 2021 when FLO renewed his licence.  Another internal review was sought, but a decision was not made within the required 21 days which is when we took this matter to NCAT.

About the NSW Police

The original position of NSW Police was summed up with this position.

NSW Police knocked back a proposal to settle the matter with a modified condition.

Through the NCAT process, they eventually agreed to another proposal which mirrors how FLO would prefer to operate.

Discrimination by the NSW registry continues

To add to their insult, NSW Police doubled down on its view towards disabled shooters with this statement in its submission to NCAT:

 We’re sure there will be many disabled shooters reading this who will be far from impressed with this attitude towards disabled shooters.

NSW Police also tried to raise questions around whether FLO could install a safe at home, given he is a tenant. This was refuted, however it was clear that the police, at several points, dug at depths they would not go to for able bodied shooters.

They fought every step of the way. Fortunately, they lost.

The decision

The final decision, which was recently published on the NSW Government’s case law site, came down in FLO’s favour, but with some conditions.  They are that:

NSW Police did not agree with this – and we would have preferred there be no special condition, as is the case with other shooters. 

However the condition reflects how FLO intended to carry his gun and is what we put forward – which makes this a great win.

NSW Police’s starting position was one of assuming that FLO could not carry or store a handgun without any evidence for no reason other than he is in a wheelchair.  

It would seem their view remains unchanged.

Thanks to your support, we’ve been able to get this outcome. Thank you also to all of those who support the NSC and donate to its work program.  That’s why more and more shooters are supporting what we do.

11 thoughts on “NSC wins big in wheelchair fight

  1. Ian L Daly says:

    It is clear that the police should not be entrusted with anything to do with guns. The fact that they cannot locate all of their own guns is a second proof of this.
    There should be a separate body that looks after all things to do with guns. Hopefully this new authority would not have inbuilt prejudice, as is the case with the police. The aim of the police seems to be (probably at the behest of the government) to have the community to be disarmed. We all know what that leads to from history. Regards Ian Daly.

  2. Jon Laird says:

    Congratulations to FLO, NSC and to NCAT for delivering another decision promoting equity and common sense in the face of police over reach

  3. Trevor Pollock says:

    Sometimes shooting is the only enjoyment/outet people with a disability or serious injury have left in thier life.Take shooting away & you take thier life away.
    I know, I have a serious injury that restricts me do many things I once enjoyed.
    Well done to the NSC for standing up to common sense & the rights of Australian citizens.

  4. Jap says:

    The attitude of the NSW police is at best sickening at worst discriminatory.
    A pity they couldn’t be taken to court over that.

  5. David M says:

    I think we need to clear something up.
    – It ‘is’ the position of the government in NSW that everyone should be disarmed. Remember the infected Ruby
    Princess cruise ship? It was quarantined in Sydney Harbour and the most time discussing it in government
    was how to use it to confiscate guns. Never mind the virus.
    – Police no longer have to declare membership of secretive Orders or affiliations with foreign powers. Given a
    secretive Order that tried to recruit me, and uses churches in Sydney’s North Shore as cover, it’s as bad as
    Ian L Daly’s comment above (though not the same as he’s referring to).

    Compare that with the very same NSW Police Force with members who own firearms (I’ve met one) and who issued me with a Minor’s Permit for a firearm ten minutes after I walked into the Station (some years ago).

    The virus and the jab change everything. Also the yanks have prodded the Panda (with the lie called Manifest Destiny, seizing China’s oil in Lybia and sailing a fleet up the Chinese coast – resulting in ‘the 9 dotted line’) and out will come the Dragon. Either things will get desperate, very desperate, in Australian politics, or key political families will flee to the yanks.

  6. Steve says:

    The great leveller of shooting has and always will be nondiscrimatory. Whether you’re male, female or disabled does not enter into it…if you can shoot you can shoot. Have these people heard of the para Olympics? Have they attended their local gun range? I’m suggesting they should attend such shoots for I have seen with my own eyes a man in a wheelchair win the shoot between ACA & SAS associations comfortably

  7. Tony Y says:

    I do not understand the apparent view held by (some) Police regarding licenced gun owners. Threats to the Community do not come from these gun owners and a man in a wheelchair, who has had to go through numerous hardships in his life, should not be victimised because of his handicap. Having grown up with firearms from the age of 10 and having served in the Army Reserve, a State Police Officer (25yrs.), a Sporting Shooter I have never had an issue with registered gun owners who by and large are much better grounded than the persons making the decisions regarding legal firearm possession.

  8. Peter says:

    This is just another example of a Government that gets thier kicks from discriminating against the disabled in our community as they know full well many of us are unable to argue thier Totalatarian policies which benefit only those who write them, And the Police who without conscience agree and try to enforce these policies towards the dissabled are no better than the Governments who pay them.

    .I am also a dissabled shooter and have been for 20 years, this is not the only erea whereby we are treated like second class citizens and viewed as a bunch of uneducated suckers by Government I can assure you.

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