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Greens horrified by bid to lower shooting age

Christine Milne. AUSTRALIAN Greens leader Christine Milne says she is horrified by changes to the Firearms Act proposed by the state government.

Police Minister Rene Hidding this week announced the most wide-ranging changes to the state’s gun laws in more than a decade, under reforms to be brought before Parliament in March.

Senator Milne said the most disturbing suggested measure was dropping the shooting age for hunters in the field from 16 to 15.

“Frankly I am horrified the Tasmanian Government would consider watering down gun laws in any shape or form,” she said.

“Lowering the age is a really bad idea.”

Senator Milne was leader of the Tasmanian Greens when the state’s gun laws were strengthened after the Port Arthur massacre.

Many weapons were outlawed, licensing tightened and paintballing effectively banned after the 1996 atrocity.

The latter is set to be legalised under the government’s proposed changes.

Senator Milne welcomed the proposed introduction of stricter gun storage requirements, which comes after more than 500 firearms were stolen across Tasmania in the past two years.

But Senator Milne took aim at mandatory sentencing penalties flagged for those caught in possession of illegal firearms.

“Mandatory sentencing is never a good idea … courts need to have discretion in sentencing they bring down,” she said.

“We will continue to have campaigns for stronger gun laws, but I think the government is going about things the wrong way here.”

However, Mr Hidding said the measures struck a sensible and responsible balance to firearm management.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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