THE NSW GOVERNMENT is refusing to be transparent about why it is giving DVA card holders a hard time when they apply for a firearms licence.
In this article we explain what the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Justice, Mark Taylor MP, said to the NSC when we asked him to ensure the registry provided greater transparency.
Setting the trap for our vets
In April 2021, we published this story where we revealed how the NSW Police were offering fee exemptions to DVA card holders, but then demanding they prove they are medically fit to hold a licence.
We’ve heard stories of how some vets who fell for this carrot now have to provide psychiatric reports every time they renew their licences – despite being ‘in the clear’.
Section 11 of the NSW Firearms Act 1996 requires that shooters are ‘fit and proper’ to have a licence. On face value, that’s ok where it helps to keep bad or dangerous people out of our sport.
However the NSW Police are now starting with the biased assumption that you are not fit and proper until proven otherwise – if you hold a DVA card.
Check this screenshot that one DVA card holder received.
It’s pretty clear: claim the discount and get given a hard time. All because you served our country.
NSC challenges the government to transparency
In May, the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Justice, Mark Taylor MP, confirmed this policy. He explained that NSW Police adopted this policy for vets to:
“determine whether an applicant has any pre-existing
medical conditions which would warrant exclusion or licence
limitations regarding access to or the safe handling of firearms”
Click here to see that letter.
In reply, the NSC advised Mr Taylor of its concerns about compliance with the state’s information disclosure requirements, especially in the absence of any disclosure to taking up the fee exemption.
We asked Mr Taylor to organise for the NSW Police to make the registry’s intentions towards those claiming the fee exemption clear and up front, so that those claiming the exemption they can do so informed.
Click here to see our email.
Mr Taylor’s allergic reaction
In late July, Mr Taylor responded. You can see his response by clicking here. In summary, Mr Taylor’s response makes no mention of transparency, which was the sole focus of our email. All his response did was to reiterate the justification for the policy.
In other words, Mr Taylor avoided the question.
NSW goes to the privacy commissioner
The fact Mr Taylor’s response didn’t respond to the question is telling. It was a simple request that focused on a key principle of good management of private information.
We’ve raised our concerns with the Information and Privacy Commissioner NSW, asking it to look into whether the conduct of NSW Police complies with the privacy priniciples they administer.
Thinking of using your DVA card to get a fee exemption?
Until we get this sorted out, our advice to those who may be eligible for the fee exemption is pretty straight forward. Do this, and be aware that NSW Police will give you a hard time.
Obviously we’ll let you know what happens – but if you’re a vet, you can do your bit by raising your concern with your local member of Parliament.
Whose policy is it?
When we received Mr Taylor’s response, we received it from the NSW Police’s email system – rather than his parliamentary email system.
This tells us quite clearly that it is the NSW Police, not the NSW Government, who runs firearms policy in NSW.
In saying this, we’re not criticising Mr Taylor for responding (he did sign the letter). To the contrary, we appreciate the fact he is corresponding with us, as he has done on several other occasions.
However, we know who ‘wears the pants’ on firearms policy in NSW, and that’s got to change.
14 thoughts on “NSW Government ditches transparency for DVA card holders”
It was fine for the vets to have a firearm when in the services but not now.
Treating veterans like shit seems to be the in thing in Australia. The government does it and now the drongos of NSW registry are screwing tgem. Only in Australia will the LAW ABIDING CITIZENS get treated worse than crims. Fucking disgusting
Only in Australia can the law abiding citizens get treated worse than a crim. The government regularly treats veterans like shit and now the NSW registry treat them like shit. FUCKING DISGRACEFUL
This is the start of States making sure that the populace IS Un-Armed going forward.
As the State police Forces become more like Para-Militaries (in some ways i agree due to Islamic terrorism) but to turn ON THE VERY PEOPLE WHO WOULD NO DOUBT help Police in any instance against Anarchy.
Pity we can’t subject governments and decision makers to the same requirements
The NSW Rum Corps “wears the pants” on NSW firearms policy alright.
..And the big pants at The United Grand Lodge of England, tells all the worlds police what side to dress on.
And they won’t have disgruntled Vets, or anyone else for that matter; being out of order where global vaccination compliance is their main game.
absit omen to us all in this rampant tyranny.
“The United Grand Lodge of England” I don’t know where the sudden and concerted push to claim this online comes from. But, like the claims there is no virus, or that white women smell bad, before it, it may begin at the same time each day. That is, a nation state or religion is making these claims, and I don’t think they have our interests at heart.
“The NSW Rum Corps” I don’t know how much you’ve read about them, but, as you can read from the other comments, the current situation is worse than that.
Im an ex serviceman not an idiot i have had years of extencive and intensive Training More than most shooters who apply and now we are being singled out as needing specialist treatment .and to be looked at if it was not for Australian servicemen and women putting themselves in rhe line of fire
You would not have the freedom to criticise us your grandfathers were the backbone of this nation which you now want to trash how about you go get a real job where your discrimination is not showing
Gavin Lee is correct, I’ve served Australia’s people overseas in war as has many of my family – and if the police were being given a hard time by a few nasties – of any variety, I would probably throw in with the coppers – at least then they would have a bloke on their side who could hit what he was aiming at They would then probably take my licence and guns, because there is no “to help save police lives” as a genuine reason.
I donned the green for 19yrs, I love shooting, it’s the only pass time that helps calm my PTSD down. Truth be told, if the proverbial hit the fan. I’d wait till the cops lost control and were disbanded… then I’d step out and have a crack. After all, Vets are like any other registered gun owner, the most law abiding citizens on this rock.
Many people have DVA cards to access certain benefits, like discount rail travel in Victoria.
I have just today received an email which has me distressed from Weapons Licensing requesting my full accepted health conditions because I used my DVA Gold Card. I noted there was also a concession for Centrelink pensioner card holders when I did it at the time. Has me wondering do they have to give their full health record too? Never have I felt so insulted dare I say it embarrassed for being a veteran and serving my country after being a responsible gun owner for 8 years
All I wanted to do was renew my license
Will be removing my concession immediately “if” I get my license renewed and will just pay cost of renewal
I am extremely safe and responsible. I follow the law to a T and just wish to move forward with my life whilst leaving my military life and mental/physical health issues (that yes are listed simply because I had treatment for them as Vet affairs “accepted” they occurred due to service) I suffered long ago well behind me. The rehabilitation I was given was tremendous. Guess what it has worked and I accept all and anything that life brings. I refuse to be a victim or hang my hat on my service. I love hunting and shooting plus helping my neighbours with pest management and any euthanasia tasks. I am also a farm manager of my own place and another farm part time so this is a near mandatory requirement for me
I just don’t understand this and it seems a touch discriminatory
It’s a paint them all with a one brush approach albeit toward a certain minority of responsible gun owners
Chuck Falcon, firstly thank you for your service. Yes NSW FAR are an absolute disgrace in the way they treat DVA card shooters when they apply for a licence concession. It makes the NSC leadership team very angry and it is an issue we will keep fighting until we achieve fair treatment and respect for veteran licence holders.
I was also affected by this discrimatory business the last time I renewed my license. I consider it an insult to those of us who have served to be treated as criminals in waiting due to our time serving our country. We copped enough flak from what was supposedly OUR organisation, the RSL on return To Australia, now it’s the turn of the FAR to have a go at us. I did as I was told and at my own expense saw a psychologist who gave me a clean bill of health in that I was not a threat to anyone, including myself. We have put up with enough public service rubbish just to get our pension. Now its’ the turn another branch of the chair polishers to have a go.