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New firearms laws pass through WA Parliament

On Wednesday 19 June 2024, the Labor Government’s firearms reforms were approved by the Lower House of Parliament. The Firearms Bill 2024 rewrites the Firearms Act 1973 to capture modern firearm developments and contemporary legislative practices.

The Bill mitigates a number of potential risks within the current Act by;

  • redefining the use of property letters,
  • introducing a limit on the number and type of firearms an individual can own,
  • increasing disqualification offences,
  • tightening storage requirements,
  • mandating training requirements, and
  • introducing health assessments.

With community safety at the heart of the reform, Injury Matters supports the passed Bill in particular the refined genuine reasons for individuals to own a firearm, the modernised security requirements, the theoretical and practical training courses to support safe possession and use of firearms, and the introduction of Mandatory Disqualifying Offences and Orders to remove firearms from individuals who have committed serious offences.

Given the focus on community safety, Injury Matters was disappointed to note that the new Bill potentially extends the period of time a license may be granted for, allows individuals aged 15 – 18 to obtain firearm authority approval, allows children to use firearms when under the supervision of a firearms licensee, and includes a Theatrical Firearm Business License, given there is no genuine need to use an operational firearm during a performance.

Despite these opportunities to further improve the legislation, these reforms will make WA a national leader in minimising the risk firearms pose to public safety.

“Our new laws make WA a safer place for everyone and will benefit future generations for decades to come.”

“Beginning with the 2016 Law Reform Commission Review, these laws have been years in the making.”

Police Minister Paul Papalia

Injury Matters congratulates the WA Government on this milestone in increasing the safety of the WA community and awaits the implementation of the full suite of laws in early 2025.

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