An Australian airgun company is warning of a “serious and imminent” threat to public safety after it was revealed that the company has classified a number of its guns.
Key points:Airguns are commonly used by law enforcement and the military to fight crime and terrorismThe company has also issued a safety warning for the gunsIt has also warned that there are potential threats to public healthAn airgun manufacturer in Melbourne’s north-west has been told by the state Government it must stop the classification of the guns that it sells.
The Federal Government last month announced it was introducing legislation to allow the manufacture of non-restricted airguns, a move that will bring more airguns into the hands of Australians.
In a submission to the Government, a company called Airguns Australia said the guns could potentially be classified as firearms under the new legislation.
“These are non-military airguns,” the submission read.
“They do not fall into the definition of an instrument of war, so they are not subject to the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) definition of a firearm.”
This means that the Australian Government cannot issue an exemption for these guns, as they are prohibited under the ADF definition.
“The company’s submission was also addressed to the Federal Minister for Transport, Peter Dutton, who last week confirmed the Government was planning to introduce legislation to classify the guns.”
The ADF has no plans to change the definition for these firearms,” Mr Dutton said.”
But we would urge you to take the necessary steps to ensure that airguns are properly classified before they are sold, even though this could include a prohibition on the sale of the firearm to the general public.
“AirgunsAustralia is an authorised firearms dealer for the Commonwealth Government.
The company said it has been working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to “de-classify” the airguns it sells, but has not received a response from the department.
The submission was first revealed by the ABC on Tuesday.
It is understood that the Department for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development has been notified that it must cease the classification.”DFAT has no further comment at this stage,” a DFAT spokesman told the ABC.”
We have a duty of care towards our customers and, as a responsible firearms manufacturer, we must ensure that our airguns comply with all relevant legislation and regulations, including the Firearms Act 1971.
“The Department for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts has also not responded to ABC inquiries about the matter.
In an emailed statement, a DFOT spokesperson said the department was aware of the company’s concerns.”
As part of our national compliance review, DFAT is considering how to ensure compliance with all legislation and regulation, including those relating to firearms,” the spokesperson said.”[DFAT] does not comment on any individual case.