Have your say – Firearms Amendment (Community Safety) Bill 2023

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

Click here to view all submissions