Navigating Australian Gun Laws: Why Firearm Training Matters30-May-2023
Australia has one of the strictest gun control systems in the world, alongside Singapore, China, Japan and the UK. Although strict, these laws promote a safe environment for citizens and visitors of Australia. In fact, the firearm laws in Australia are often held up as a model for other nations to follow. With a strong focus on public safety and minimising the risk of gun-related incidents, Australian gun laws provide a framework that aims to strike a balance between responsible gun ownership and ensuring community wellbeing. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of firearm training in Australia and how it helps individuals navigate the intricacies of the country’s gun laws while promoting safety.
Understanding Australian Gun Laws
Australia implemented significant gun law reforms in response to the tragic Port Arthur massacre in 1996, which claimed the lives of 35 people. The Port Arthur massacre was the worst massacre in modern Australian history. Although the massacre occurred in Tasmania, the impact shook the entire nation. What was an important factor in this tragic event was the fact that the semi-automatic used by the perpetrator had been purchased without a licence. This called attention to the current laws that existed during this time. The National Firearms Agreement (NFA) was subsequently introduced, which saw restrictions related to the importation of firearms into the country as well as restrictions to gun laws made across states and territories. The key provisions of the NFA include the requirement for firearm licences, background checks, waiting periods, and restrictions on the sale and possession of certain firearms.
West Australian Gun Laws
Individuals desiring to possess or utilise a firearm in Western Australia are subject to the regulations set by the Firearms Act of 1973. If you’re seeking ownership of a weapon or you’re looking to complete your firearm training, it’s advised you become familiar with these regulations to ensure you act in accordance with the laws of the nation and the state. Failure to comply with the laws will face penalties. These penalties vary in severity depending on the violation.
It’s important to note that the severity of penalties are increasing. For example, the Firearm Amendment Bill 2022 introduced in November has increased penalties for Stealing and Unlawful Possession offences related to firearms with imprisonment for 14 years for offenders who steal weapons and imprisonment for 10 years where there are special circumstances for possessing a stolen firearm. For information regarding the law, it’s recommended to refer to the relevant government bodies.
There has been recent revision to WA’s gun laws with Acting Commissioner Kylie Whiteley and Premier Mark McGowan announcing reform to the 50-year-old- gun laws. From 1 July, 2023 firearms and ammunition designed to shoot over long ranges with extraordinary power and precision will be outlawed in WA. The prohibition will render 52 different firearm models and 19 ammunition calibres illegal in WA. If you currently hold a prohibited firearm, you will be required to dispose of the firearm before 1 July.
One fundamental aspect of Australian gun laws is the requirement for firearm training before obtaining a firearms licence, or possessing and using a firearm under a Corporate Firearms Licence, pursuant of the Firearms Act 1973 (WA). Carrying and using a firearm for licensed security officers (cash-in-transit) is carried out under a Corporate Firearms Licence, and does not require the individual to have a private firearm licence.
This training helps individuals gain essential knowledge and skills to ensure safe handling, storage, and usage of firearms. It is a crucial step in promoting responsible gun ownership and minimising the risks associated with firearms.
Paragon Corporate Training holds the distinction of being the most enduring security training provider in WA. Boasting an impressive 100 years of experience. Paragon’s trainers possess extensive expertise in all areas of policing, security, risk management and investigations training. Our trainers pride themselves on bringing a wealth of experience from operational backgrounds, having served both government and corporate entities in armed capacities.
Participating in a Firearms course at Paragon Corporate Training covers the following:
- Reviewing and adhering to range rules, workplace policies, and legal obligations encompassing firearms and weapons Acts, as well as workplace health and safety (WHS) protocols.
- Selecting and inspecting the firearm, ammunition, duty gear, and necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications to ensure safe and accurate operation.
- Demonstrating proper techniques for handling a firearm (revolver/semi-automatic pistol), including loading and unloading, drawing and holstering, retention, shooting, and discharging multiple shots accurately at single and multiple targets.
- Engaging in revolver discharge activities at an approved range while following local range rules and adhering to instructions from range personnel.
- Cleaning and maintaining the firearm using the PROVE (Point, Remove, Observe, Verify, Examine) safety procedures.
- This training applies to individuals who work independently or operate as part of a security team, with limited supervision.
It is important to note that this course of training may fulfil licensing requirements for individuals involved in regulated security operations in specific states and territories.
Benefits of Firearm Training
If you’re looking to obtain a career in security, law enforcement, defence or a career that requires use of a firearm, you will need to obtain certification from a registered provider such as Paragon (National Training Provider #50900).
Alongside obtaining the certification, Firearms courses have a long list of benefits that will benefit the individual when owning and operating firearms. These benefits are listed below.
Firearm training courses emphasise safety as their core principle. They educate individuals about the proper handling techniques, safe storage practices, and responsible firearm usage. This knowledge significantly reduces the likelihood of accidents, both at home and in public.
Understanding Legal Responsibilities
Firearm training ensures that aspiring firearm owners and users understand their legal obligations and responsibilities. Participants learn about the specific laws and regulations governing firearm possession, storage, transportation, and use. This knowledge empowers individuals to navigate the complex landscape of Australian gun laws confidently.
Firearm training programs focus on developing essential skills such as accurate aiming, effective shooting techniques, and firearm maintenance. Proficiency in these areas enhances the overall safety and responsible use of firearms. By honing their skills through training, gun owners can ensure that they handle their firearms with competence and care.