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Our Response: WA Firearm Reform

Injury Matters is pleased to support the McGowan Government’s decision to rewrite the Western Australian (WA) firearms legislation placing community safety as a priority.

Injury Matters supports legal and responsible firearm ownership and recognises that firearm regulation significantly contributes to a decline in firearm-related injury and death, highlighting the need for strengthened regulation to improve public health.

Firearm-related harm is a public health concern in WA with 14 registered deaths related to firearms in 2020. Additionally, in 2020 there were 160 reported crimes that involved a firearm across the state.

Firearm misuse and violence has a ripple effect across communities. Individuals exposed to firearm-related violence often need to navigate complex physical and/or psychosocial effects of the experienced violence for many years to come, often with limited access to local or regional support services.

Community members can also be affected by firearm misuse – as witnesses, first responders, healthcare workers, or social supports of those experiencing firearm-related violence.

Injury Matters Chief Executive, Sandy Lukjanowski

Injury Matters hopes this overhaul of firearm laws will see WA comply with commitments within the National Firearms Agreement 2017 to minimise unnecessary injury and death attributed to firearm misuse.

Proposed reforms will strengthen training requirements, enhance security and storage of legitimately owned firearms, and enable police to revoke gun licenses from those convicted of serious family violence offences.

This reform gives WA the opportunity to protect our community and our future from preventable firearm-related violence.

Injury Matters Chief Executive, Sandy Lukjanowski

The incidence of firearm-related injury can be reduced with improvements to current policy and legislation, as well as an increased awareness of the public health issue that firearms cause. Current laws have remained structurally the same since 1973 and this reform is an opportunity to bring WA into the modern-day, increasing community safety in line with modern technologies.

Injury Matters has historically advocated for firearm safety and continues to advocate for the prevention of all injuries in WA, working alongside the community to support safer people and places.

Injury Matters Chief Executive, Sandy Lukjanowski

The upcoming consultation period is a once in a generation opportunity for us to shape our community safety standards. To have your say on WA’s firearm legislation, we encourage you to complete the WA Police survey here. If you would like to engage in Injury Matters advocacy activities regarding the upcoming legislative changes please get in contact with Roisin Sweeney via 6166 7688 or [email protected]

If you or someone you know is currently experiencing any form of violence, it is important to speak out and talk to someone you trust so they can help you.

To speak to a trained mental health professional for immediate support, contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, or Lifeline WA on 13 11 14. If you, or someone else, is at immediate risk of harm contact emergency services on 000.