THE NSW POLICE have set a new low by cancelling the licence of a shooter who did nothing more than show his licence at a store in the state’s north. 

This abuse of power by a registry is the worst that we have ever published – and shows why shooters need a strong NSC.

In this article:

  • NSW Police suspended the licence of a pistol shooter who was overheard having a conversation with another person about how he enjoys his sport;
  • The NSC helped the shooter make a submission to get the licence back;
  • This was ignored = and an Assistant Commissioner of NSW Police called the NSC to justify why the shooter won’t get his licence back;
  • The licence has since been cancelled, but NSWPol is yet to offer any reason why they took this action or offer any evidence to support their decision.
  • The NSC is getting ready to take yet another legal action at NCAT.

Eaves-dropping on someone else’s conversation

In April this year, Peter Martin went to his local Norco store, which is a dairy co-op, to buy some mice bait to help deal with the plague that affected so many areas in the state.

While there, Peter got chatting with a friendly employee who was interested in his hobby of pistol shooting, even showing the employee his licence. 

Another employee overhead the conversation. This second employee complained to Norco’s head office and then police about the interaction – even though he wasn’t actually part of the conversation.

The police interviewed the second employee – but not Peter or the employee he spoke with- before hitting him with a licence suspension notice and seizing his firearms.

The reason stated on Peter’s notice was that his having a licence “not in the public interest due to not fit and proper”.    

Peter was later told that the police had also heard there had been a complaint about him by his pistol club – but neither he nor his club know anything about that.

No other information was provided, but the notice indicated that NSW Police would consider revoking his licence.

Peter then contacted the NSC who helped him make a submission. The submission responded to the allegations and invited police to provide Peter with details of what they were based on so he could respond.  NSW Police acknowledge receipt of the submission, but never responded to it.

On 1 June, the NSC raised this matter with the Minister for Police, Mr David Elliott, and copied an inspector from NSW Police in.  This resulted in a call from Assistant Commissioner Scott Cook about two hours later.

Scott told us that there was more to this story than we’ve been told, and that Peter was not getting his licence back. 

To be fair, the police will always have more information that we do – and we were happy to respect the process that needs to follow.  We said we would ‘hit the pause button’ to let things play out, just in case there was something we hadn’t been told.

Another two hours later, we had our answer.  Peter received a licence revocation notice that had been signed 13 days earlier that made several claims about Peter.  Specifically, that:

  • “concerns were raised by members of the public in relation to comments made by you involving the possession and use of firearms”
  • “Further concerns have also been raised in relation to your mental health ..”
  • “… and it has been reported that you may have alcohol abuse issues

None of the claims were supported with any detail.   We don’t know who raised the concerns, what their qualifications in relation to mental health or ‘abuse issues’ may be, or what they allege Peter did.

At no stage prior to suspension or cancellation, did NSW Police offer Peter the opportunity to respond to the allegations.

In fact, the revocation letter didn’t even mention the suspension, which means they also ignored Peter’s submission on why he should retain his licence.

The fact this happened in this way points to serious deficiencies that any lawyer could drive a truck through.

We appreciate that the Assistant Commissioner took the time to call us, but it is even more startling that he not only failed to spot the deficiencies in the process that the registry followed, but that he seemed to ‘double down’ on it.

We’ve helped Peter make a further submission requesting a reconsideration of the cancellation.  If that fails to get a positive result before the end of this week, then we’re off the NCAT.

Who is Peter Martin?

Is Peter a criminal? Does he have a controversial past or history of behaviour that police should be concerned about? 

Did he do a runner from reporters on A Current Affair?

No – and the police have not made any allegations about what he is supposed to have done – which means they have no reason to give him a hard time about his chosen sport.   

Pete is in his mid to late 70s and lives with his wife on his property where he grows veggies that he sells at the Glenn Innes Cottage Markets (which his wife helps organise) and gives away to friends.

Peter's woodsplitter

He brews his own beer and has won awards for it.   

He also makes and sells cookers, which you can see on his Facebook page, has built a trailer, a wood splitter and services his Mazda 4×4.

If anything, he’s the sort of person you would love to have at your pistol club and in the community.

Silence from Norco

Peter in his shed

You would think that Norco – being a dairy cooperative and rural community hub – would worry if its employees took offence to firearm ownership.

Early on, the NSC reached out to both Norco’s head office and Glenn Innes store to discuss the matter. Neither responded. 

We did the same again in early June. Again, no response was received.

We understand from notes made at the time that there was disagreement within the business that the matter should have been reported – with one employee telling X “to do nothing about it as it was a non-event”, describing the conversation as non-confrontational.

It’s Norco’s choice to ignore our representations – but it’s our duty to expose them when we reckon they’ve done the wrong thing.  We hope we get the chance to call Norco employees to give evidence as this matter progresses.

We’ll keep you posted on what happens.

Don’t let the registry get away with this

This story is why shooters need a strong NSC.

Being a member of the NSC not only gives shooters a voice, but your membership fee ($35 for regular members) helps us fund our legal fights – such as the one we’re about to support for Peter. 

Make a stand. Join now.

34 thoughts on “NSW Police set new low for licence cancellation

  1. Leigh K says:

    You know you don’t live in a free society when you can be unjustly persecuted by the government based on the opinions of a leftist snitch.

    • J Kelly says:

      You know the Pollie that approved this is a minister in a rather right wing government right? Both the left and right in this country hate firearm ownership, so its best to proscribe your anger at the right people, and your vote based on those who have actively affirmed policy that allows shooters the freedom to enjoy their hobby and livelihood.

  2. Peter Powell says:

    I keep telling my fellow shooters and club members to join the NSC to help protect our rights

  3. Brett says:

    Police in this country are consistently sbusing their power and authority, making seizures and arrests without reasonable cause . We must stand up for our rights and the rights of others when we see them or hear of them being violated by abusers of public office. This licence suspension appears to be a case of extended Ultra Vires, a decision made beyond power for an improper purpose and done in bad faith by NSW Pol. Done with unreasonableness and irrationality and without evidence or a want of evidence before the decison maker to justify a lawful suspension of licence and seizure of firearms. What ever happened to professional responsibility and legal ethics in NSW Police decision making?Perhaps this incident identifies a breach in NSW Pol employees involved, professional standards and “professional misconduct” arising from incompetence, acting on inaccurate information or a lack of diligence by NSW Pol Officers involved.

    • Brendan Barry says:

      Police in all states have become nothing but state run gestapo storm troopers, police must remove themselves from government and they must also be reminded that they work for the people who pay their wages.

  4. Daniel Hickson says:

    The NSC is the only organisation in this country that truly supports ALL shooters. Well done. I’ve been a member for a short time and I urge all LAFO’s to join and support this invaluable organisation.

  5. JAMES BEATTIE says:

    This reminds me of the STAZI, the state security service of the now defunct East German communist government where citizens were encouraged to report any anti goverment behaviour to the security force. Untrue, made up allegations by fellow citizens would see you in serious trouble. Deja vu anyone?

    • David M says:

      The process you just described is detailed here:

      It was done by the Tory Party in Britain and copied by so-called ‘conservative’ parties in Australia, Canada and New Zealand – I don’t know of any others.

      They literally do copy methods used by the Stazi!

  6. Sam Charlick says:

    The incompetence and doubling down of police in this issue and many others highlighted by the NSC and other shooter’s unions around the country, really make me doubt due process, and indeed the Law, exists in Australia any more. It seems like the law is whatever a cop conjures up at the time to suit their own purposes.

  7. Mike Woods says:

    Once again, its the NSC picking up the ball….where are the other shooting organizations???? Once again, Thank You NSC, well done!

  8. Gerard Flood says:

    Regarding the above ” … We must stand up for our rights and the rights of others ” : IMVHO, under current Australian and state laws, there are almost zero legally enforceable “rights” per se. Politically however, certainly “We must stand up for our rights and the rights of others”, and the NSC is uniquely ‘fit for purpose’ to defend shooters against cases of abuse of authority, to expose shocking weaknesses in the law, to initiate reforms in both the law and the state’s obedience to sworn duty and law, and to direct effective, prudent political campaigns in one of the world’s most elector-empowering voting environments. [Even if the law did specify adequate ‘rights’, those rights would be utterly worthless unless we had someone with the grit and smarts of the NSC to activate and effectively defend those rights in the face of police intimidation, threats against activists etc. Effectively, rights are what you have the brains and political muscle to enforce – not what ‘The Law’ merely says.] In fact, the NSC appears to be a very rare case of ‘people power’ fighting for the ordinary person’s reasonable needs and privileges, and as such, ought attract the vigorous support of very many people, regardless of their personal interest in shooting. [This is not to suggest that the NSC be distracted one iota from its central objectives and purposes.] To the extent that the NSC gains potency, it will come under professional attack. Whether we like it or not, there is far more at stake here for the whole community than access to shooting.

  9. Michael O'Donoghue says:

    Firearms Ownership in Australia is not a Right and no Rights append from it.

    Firearms Ownership in Australia is a Conditional Privilege because you are first and foremost a Subject of The Crown.

    And as a Subject of The Crown exercising a Conditional Privilege, The Crown maintains The Absolute God Given Right to Change the Conditions and Remove the Privilege at any Time.

    To believe otherwise is Naivety at its worst.

    For many Years I was An Officer of The Crown and in Telling you This I am very likely Risking a Conditional Privilege which I Myself have exercised for over 35 Years.

    My best Advice are these words from Sir Humphrey Appleby.
    “He who would keep a secret must keep it a secret that he hath a secret to keep.”

    In other words “Public Conversation about Firearms will likely Sink your Conditional Privilege to Own a Firearm”.

    • Michael Mazur says:

      And who gave the Crown any authority in the distant past to grant Conditional Privilege ? No one. Just a bunch of gangsters assumed it, without first seeking consent from the peasantry.

    • Gerard Flood says:

      Michael, thank you for helping NSC supporters to face concrete reality. Good advice is priceless.

  10. Michael Mazur says:

    In prison colony Australia, we have no rights, unlike America, where it took a revolutionary war against a foreign occupier, Britain, before the Congress of 1791 accepted the first and second amendments, which read as follows ;

    Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of a religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof, or abridge the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the govt for a redress of grievances.

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    So what’s happening in prison colony Australia, is that police are anticipating a revolt by the people against increasingly oppressive govt, and are, by increments, disarming all of the people, and only then the politicians can do with the people much like the rapist can with his victim.

  11. cohenite says:

    There are Common Law rights to self defence in Australia but no constitutional rights. That means the CL rights are subject to legislation. In NSW for instance there are very strong self defence rights in the CA 1900 at Ss 418-422 ( see also s 10.4(2) of the Criminal Code 1994 (Cth)). But you cannot use a gun to exercise those rights because use of guns are defined in other legislation and do not include self defence as a legal reason.

    I don’t know what a constitutional privilege is.

  12. Daryl says:

    The ‘second employee’ is a great example of something that is drastically wrong with Australian society nowdays.
    It is of no benefit to anyone for that person (and I use that term loosely) to do what they did, not even to themselves.
    They deliberately chose to go right out of their way and see to it that they disrupted someone else’s day and life for no reason other than they had the ability to do so.

    Possibly a snowflake who’s constantly running around getting offended at everything, influenced by the media and the ‘anti’ brigade, with little to no ability to actually think for themselves.
    I would not be at all surprised if this person complained to police that they were ‘concerned and distressed’ because people were talking about firearms in public.

  13. john says:

    Police are not answerable to anyone . All complaints against them are handled internally .
    Like having a fox in charge of the chooks .

  14. Peter WILLIAMS says:

    What is to stop a bus load of interested people dropping in to a Pistol Club competition day and seeing if it’s something they could participate in and join the Club, nothing!
    Is it a secret, that sign on the Clubs area tends to give away the “secret”.
    Anyone know where or if a CONDITION of a Pistol Licence is to maintain secrecy of the holders sport/hobby.
    Can’t help but think a conversation between Police/Club Member took place something like this Q”G’day Freddy, you know old Peter Martin at all, he’s in yr Club”
    Club member A “Course I know him, he’s a good old bloke, keeps busy and loves a beer, even brews his own”.
    Police have dredged the bottom of the barrel to pad out the shop complaint, pretty poor when Australia gets to such a national socialist stance.

    • Adam Basham says:

      Oddly enough, we get people in off the street all the time asking about pistol shooting… And we invite them along to have a look… On another note… Gun license are approved for use in getting required 100 points of ID for Passport, etc etc etc

  15. Pearse O'Connor says:

    Good on you NSC.
    For 4 years I have been applying for my NSW lic only to have it rejected on conjecture, supposition and purely discrimination because I am a Disability Pensioner.
    Good to know there are people out there who actually care about shooters.

  16. John C says:

    If we can lose our license for showing it to someone can the same be done for us at our local gun store where they must sight our license?

    My local is that concerned about this that he actually has us show him our license in clear and direct view of his stores’ CCTV, specifically to this one camera… just shows it isn’t just the shooters being targeted unfairly but also the legitimate stores.

    The next thing the NSC must investigate is price gouging on all products as this area of sales has seen a significant increase in store and distributor price gouging.

  17. DAVID BELL says:

    Can you please send me some sources for this article, I completely agree with you and find it entirely plausible that they would do this… But my girlfriend is saying it’s rubbish as she can’t find any other articles about it or any of your sources…. Might be time for a new girlfriend

    • Neil Jenkins says:

      Hi David
      Of course she can’t find any other articles -we broke the story first. There will be others after we file at NCAT so if she sits tight, she will see more.


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