Amendments passed in State Parliament to The Nationals' Bill to amend the Category D Firearms Act are described by farmers and industry representatives as a frustrating miss that didn't go far enough.
Tamworth-based firearms manufacturer Oceania Precision's managing director Jeff Bacon is disappointed the regulation changes didn't go far enough and believes the recent modifications to Category D regulation is a missed opportunity to boost the war on vertebrate pests.
Mr Bacon said while The Nationals' bill to amend the Firearms Act successfully passed the upper house, an amendment offered by the Shooters Fishers and Farmers party would have made it stronger.
Mr Bacon said it would have removed the requirements of primary producers to be part of an official Government eradication campaign to be eligible for a license.
He said the unsuccessful amendments had left farmers frustrated.
"This license is still out of the reach of the majority of croppers and graziers in the state," Mr Bacon said.
"The Government's bill has removed wording in item (5) of the regulation that had effectively prohibited all self-loading centre fire rifles, but hasn't addressed regulation prohibiting centre fire rifles based on their appearance".
"Sovereign capability is a priority of the federal Government. The State Government plays a part in this too. This regulation has huge impacts on our business, limiting growth and killing local high skilled jobs".
Mr Bacon said the Shooters Fishers and Farmers also sought to amend this loophole to align with Queensland and Victorian legislation to support industry and shooters, but this was rejected by Labor and Coalition Upper House members.
The Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Police, Paul Toole, said firearms are an important tool for pest control on farms.
Mr Toole said recent amendments to the Firearms Act 1996 strike the right balance between public safety and ensuring those with a legitimate purpose for possessing a Category D firearm have access to the appropriate licence.
"These changes were about ensuring existing licence holders continue to have access to fit-for-purpose firearms," he said.
Bendemeer farmer Grant Prendergast echoed Mr Bacon's sentiment, saying the Police Minister made a statement that this issue would have a permanent fix.
"That isn't what we saw happen, in my view. We are still at a disadvantage compared to farmers just across the Qld border," Mr Prendergast said.
"If you have a pig or deer problem, you can go to work fixing it there and then, not wait for a government program to be implemented eventually.
"The Government had a real chance to fix this, and it failed. It is recognised by Government that this style of firearm is best practice for the job, but farmers and contractors will have to wait and see what is made available to them again."
Local Land Services, which participates in vertebrate animal destruction, remains exempt from the regulation.
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