On the whole, the firearms laws we work under in this country that were introduced during the 1990s have been practical and workable, allowing people to access weapons that are fit for purpose while reducing the chance of them also falling into the wrong hands.
However, some changes have been made as those in power tweak those rules and unfortunately the most recent changes to category D licences appear to have been done without consultation with stakeholders, including organisations such as Local Land Services, the Department of Primary Industries and farmers.
The main use of these sorts of firearms for these groups is for pest control, which is not only an ongoing issue, but a growing challenge, especially for pigs and deer.
There aren't big numbers of farmers with these sorts of firearms, and those that do have them generally have them because they need them.
They are also just one tool in the range of options needed to rein in a serious incursion of pigs or deer, with trapping and baiting also necessary, along with a cooridinated effort with surrounding neighbours. All these things have to come together to make control programs effective and taking one option out reduces the chance of any program's success.
Of most concern, along with the lack of stakeholder consultation, is that the appearance of these category D firearms was used as a key reason to restrict what guns are or are not available under this category.
Does that mean that if we painted our high powered rifles pink and put unicorn stickers on them that people would suddenly think they're ok?
This is why proper consultation with stakeholders is needed, something which this coalition government has been very poor at - to the point that it has even become a something of a campaign topic for the Country Women's Association.
It is promising, however, to hear that the NSW Minister for Police, also our Deputy Premier, Paul Toole, has indicated he would support a review into category D licences.
Given we're in the midst of a great season, where pests are busily multiplying, time is also of the essence.
Victoria and Queensland have much more workable rules around these types of firearms at present. There aren't heaps of people that use or need them, but they do have a role to play in helping to keep on top of feral pests.
Have you signed up to The Land's free daily newsletter? Register below to make sure you are up to date with everything that's important to NSW agriculture.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.