IT IS NOT OFTEN we congratulate a firearms registry for some good work. That’s because we understandably often hear what they do wrong, with the NSW registry having previously ranking as Australia’s worst.
You will recall our recent cases in NCAT defending a shooter in a wheelchair, and a chap who lost his licence after showing his licence to someone else at a local rural store. Plus we recently told you how an off duty officer spied on a chap cleaning his gun.
However we do have a good news story on how one senior registry officer helped a shooter get her licence after initially getting a couple of things wrong.
NSW REGISTRY POCKETS DUD APPLICATION MONEY
In July last year, Rhy applied for her firearms licence. Like everyone else affected by the COVID delays, she waited and waited for the licence but could not even ascertain its status on line.
She eventually rang, only to be told that her application had lapsed after failing to respond to letter that was sent to her. Except that the letter never arrived.
Annoyed but resigned to having to go through the process again, Rhy asked for a refund of her application. The problem was, she was told that ‘the money goes to the registry’.
GETTING THE RIGHT RESULT
Rhy was understandably confused, so sought advice from the NSC. That’s when we contacted a senior officer in the NSW Police who made inquiries for us.
In the mean time, Rhy reapplied for her licence.
While this was happening, the officer came back, to advise that the cause of the problem was an administrative error in recording her address. The registry refunded her money and apologised for what had happened.
Rhy has now received her licence, which is clearly great news. What we don’t have is that apology in writing, however the outcome is the one we needed.
REGISTRY POLICY ON refunds
What was also of concern to us was why NSW Police kept, rather than returned, the fee for a lapsed application. This pointed to a policy that we wanted to know more about, however it is possible this was another miscommunication in this instance.
We raised this with the officer who has flagged this as a Quality Assurance matter for the registry, which is also good to hear.
Obvoiusly this should never have happened. It is not good enough that we had a shooter who not only didn’t get the paperwork sent to her, but had to come to us to get the refund.
However we also acknowledge mistakes happen and just hope that the story is as simple as that.
At least the outcome in this is the right one.