Public consultation closed 17 March 2023.
Publishable submissions will be made available on this website shortly.
The Tasmanian Government is committed to keeping Tasmanians safe from gun violence.
We must make sure that our laws are tough on crime and anticipate future potential criminal activity. We are committed to ensuring that our police and justice system have the powers to stamp out any dangerous activity and can penalise and prosecute unlawful or unsafe behaviours.
To achieve these goals, the Tasmanian Government is proposing amendments to the State’s laws that govern gun ownership and usage in Tasmania.
The proposed changes in the Firearms Amendment (Community Safety) Bill 2023 (the Bill) are being released for consultation before being considered by Parliament later this year.
The proposed changes are:
- refusal and cancellation of firearms licences for participants in outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) – an important amendment to ensure that dangerous gangs do not have access to violent weapons
- recognition of toy firearms as firearms when used in specific crimes – increasingly these ’toys’ look more and more like real guns and can be used to intimidate and threaten the public, which is not acceptable
- extended auditing obligations for the Auditor-General to firearms disposal to enhance auditing of guns and gun parts
- extending the permanent firearms amnesty to enable firearm parts and ammunition to be surrendered to Tasmania Police without penalty, to make sure these potentially dangerous items are not lying around Tasmanian homes
- phasing in a re-classification of lever-action shotguns in line with the National Firearms Agreement, to make the licence category for this weapon more proportionate with the safety risk posed. This will be phased in to enable all current licenced owners of affected shotguns to be contacted in relation to the change
- automatic loss of all firearms for offences involving possession of shortened firearms – shortened firearms are illegal and highly dangerous
- increased capacity for Tasmania Police to issue infringement notices to enforce the safe storage of firearms
- including offences for the unlawful possession of digital blueprints for the manufacture of firearms, firearm parts and sound suppressors using modern technology such as electronic milling or 3D printing – this is to ensure that there is no unlawful manufacturing of firearms or firearm parts in Tasmania
- Limit the exception to the application of the Act for Australian Defence Force personnel to circumstances where they are acting in the course of their duties
- Provide an exception to the application of the Act for corrections officer similar to the possession and use exemption for police officers
- Provide a limited possession offence exception to the application of the Act for persons handling firearms and ammunition in the course of their duties as state service employees.
The Bill will commence on proclamation.
Feedback on the Bill is invited from all members of the community. Consultation runs from 1 February 2023 to 17 March 2023.
Download the draft Bill: Firearms Amendment (Community Safety) Bill 2023
The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that public consultation processes are open and transparent and that departments apply a consistent approach to the publication of submissions. This commitment reflects community expectations for having access to information that informs Government decision-making on major policy matters.
All submissions will be published after consultation at https://fas.police.tas.gov.au/firearms-2023/ except when it is not in the public interest to release the information (e.g., to protect personal and other sensitive information) or where the submitter has requested that the submission be treated as confidential.
No personal information other than an individual’s name or the organisation making a submission will be published.
For further information, please read the Tasmanian Government Public Submissions Policy (external link).
Important information to note
- Your name (or the name of the organisation) will be published unless you request otherwise.
- In the absence of a clear indication that a submission is intended to be treated as confidential (or parts of the submission), the Department will treat the submission as public.
- If you would like your submission treated as confidential, whether in whole or in part, please indicate this in writing at the time of making your submission clearly identifying the parts of your submission you want to remain confidential and the reasons why. In this case, your submission will not be published to the extent of that request.
- Copyright in submissions remains with the author(s), not with the Tasmanian Government.
- The Department will not publish, in whole or in part, submissions containing defamatory or offensive material. If your submission includes information that could enable the identification of other individuals then either all or parts of the submission will not be published.
Accessibility of submissions
The Government recognises that not all individuals or groups are equally placed to access and understand information. We are therefore committed to ensuring Government information is accessible and easily understood by people with diverse communication needs.
Where possible, please consider typing your submission in plain English and providing it in a format such as Microsoft Word or equivalent.
The Government cannot however take responsibility for the accessibility of documents provided by third parties.
The Right to Information Act 2009 and confidentiality
Information provided to the Government may be provided to an applicant under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI). If you have indicated that you wish all or part of your submission to be treated as confidential, your statement detailing the reasons may be taken into account in determining whether or not to release the information in the event of an RTI application for assessed disclosure. You may also be contacted to provide any further comment.
- Consultation opens 1 February 2023
- Consultation closes 17 March 2023