Gun Sales Banned After Spike In Panic-Buying Sees Applications Double
Victorians will no longer be allowed to buy firearms or ammunition after applications doubled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville said the new laws were introduced following a National Cabinet decision and will take effect immediately from Tuesday.
Similar restrictions also apply in Queensland and WA.
"This is a decision that will have an impact, but it is also about keeping our communities safe," Neville said.
She said applications to access Category A and B firearms -- including airguns, rimfire rifles and shotguns -- along with ammunition had doubled in Victoria in the last week, which was "concerning".
"We are also concerned [that] this is an incredibly stressful time for people, and we know there are pressures around family violence and also around work and people spending a lot of time together," Neville said.
"We are also concerned about making sure we don't have additional firearms and ammunition in our community that criminals may also access."
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said there is “no need to be stockpiling firearms."
The new laws in Victoria apply to sport and recreational firearm users. Neville said they will not impact primary producers or those who may require firearms, such as security or prison guards.
It follows similar measures being introduced in WA and Queensland.
But Queensland's opposition police spokesman, Trevor Watt, said the decision must be urgently reviewed.
"It is imperative that licensed armourers and dealers continue to operate in order to adhere to animal welfare standards in the event a firearm is required to humanely euthanise a sick or injured animal, " Watt said.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 000. If you need help and advice, call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732, or Lifeline on 13 11 14. A range of domestic and family violence resources based around the country can be found here.