It wasn’t enough for the Australian government to ban most semi-automatic rifles in 1996; now they want owners of rifles that use rounds that are larger than .308 Win. to justify why they need their guns and that they can handle them competently.
Police have recently requested at least 14 such firearm owners to comply with the mandate.
“In order to exploit their increased capabilities, very powerful firearms require a greater level of skill and experience than that required for shorter range recreational firearms,” Licensing Services officer in charge Sen. Sgt Carl Fisher wrote in a letter to the owners late last month, according to news.com.au. “Therefore, in the interest of public safety, and to reasonably justify possession of such powerful firearms, the licence holder should demonstrate they possess suitable shooting skills and experience to safely and effectively engage targets at these extended distances.”
And, as further evidence of Big Brother watching you in Australia, authorities made it clear to one recipient of the letter that they know made clear to the recipient that they know he also owned a .300 Win. Mag. rifle, as they demanded to know why that rifle isn’t enough to meet the gun owner’s needs.
One Member of Parliament saw the move for what it was, another reel of red tape to entangle law-abiding gun owners. “The concern here is while the police do have the power to audit firearm licence owners at any time, and that’s the justification they are using, in this instance it’s a little strange that they’re picking particular caliber,” West Australia Member of Legislative Council Aaron Stonehouse said.
To read more about the NRA’s objections to such absurdity, check out ILA’s article on the matter. It’s yet more proof that if you give anti-gunners an inch, they’ll take a mile.