MEDIA RELEASE

12 May 2020

 

Tim Quilty says Victorian Government's firearms sales ban should never have happened

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty says the ban on the sale of firearms and ammunition during the coronavirus crisis should never have been approved.

The ban was lifted at 11.59pm on Tuesday, ending a controversial restriction which caused uproar in the shooting community.

“Shooters have been enduring this ridiculous ban since March 31, which has not only halted people who shoot as a leisure activity, it has also led to an increase in feral pests on farmland as well as the economic destruction of many small businesses across regional Victoria,” Mr Quilty said.

“This ban should never have come into being – it was based on utterly flawed reasoning, with the Victorian Government and Victoria Police claiming an increase in firearms sales would lead to an increase in gun-related violence.

“This conveniently ignores the fact that prices were due to rise driven by the drop in the value of the Aussie dollar, as well as the normal seasonal rise in sales numbers.

“If the Victorian Government had spent even five minutes looking into this, they would’ve acted differently. As it was, regional Victoria suffered.”

Mr Quilty wrote to Police Minister Lisa Neville urging her to reconsider ‘this knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic’, and enable small businesses to keep operating during the challenging conditions of the State lockdown.

“The Minister got one of her staff to boilerplate reply to me, trying to justify the ban by claiming it ‘protected licensed firearm owners and dealers as well as the broader community’,” Mr Quilty said.

“The Andrews Government is engaged in a War on the Regions and is intent on ruining our way of life – this ban was a significant statement of intent.

“This ban was never part of a National Cabinet decision, it was purely a Victorian Government brain explosion.

“It has created so much anger in the shooting community, because Mr Andrews basically told us that we were not to be trusted.

“The ban was an insult, and is something the Government needs to apologise for.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819