The ACT Government has today introduced legislation that will restrict the use of lever action shotguns in the ACT in line with a national agreement reached in December last year partly in response to increased prevalence of Adler A110 weapons in Australia.
The Firearms Amendment Bill 2017 will re-categorise lever action shotguns from Category A (for which licences can be held by any recreational shooter) for those with a magazine capacity of:
· Up to five rounds to Category B; and
· More than five rounds to Category D.
Category B licences are restricted to farmers and people with a specific need for using the firearm, such as recreational hunters or pest controllers.
A Category D classification is more restrictive – limiting the accessibility of firearms under that class to professional shooters and primary producers who have a genuine need that can’t be met by another firearm.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman said the ACT had today become the first jurisdiction to move to restrict access to rapid fire lever action shotguns.
“The amended classifications strike an appropriate balance between the right of the community to live safely and the interests of licensed firearm users,” Mr Gentleman said.
“The existence of lever action shotguns is not a new development. However, the concern of law enforcement agencies is that the Adler A110 lever action shotgun has a significant rate of fire, combined with a greater magazine capacity than the vast majority of lever action shotguns currently available in Australia.”
As part of the review of the National Firearms Agreement the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in December last year agreed to re-categorise lever action shotguns.
The Bill will meet the government’s commitment at COAG and aligns with the revised firearms agreement, released in February this year.
“As technology evolves, lever action shotguns of any brand become more sophisticated and potentially more dangerous when in the wrong hands,” Mr Gentleman said.
“It is important that our legislation keeps up with technology and effectively regulates firearms as changes and modifications occur.”
The importation of lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity greater than five rounds was temporarily prohibited by the Australian Government in 2015 in response to the imminent arrival in Australia of a significant number of lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity of seven rounds, in particular the Adler A110.