Western Australia's Firearm Timeline.
Until 1931 Western Australia had very little by way of gun control. After the introduction of the Firearms and Guns Act however, there was a major shift towards tighter regulation.
1871 – Export of Arms and Munitions of War Prohibition Act.
The export of firearms from WA was banned without government approval.
1874 – Game Act.
The shooting of certain bird species at specific times of the year was prohibited.
1885 – Gun License Act.
Anyone carrying or using a firearm in a town (other than on their own property) was required to pay a five shilling fee and the age limit for a permit was set at 16.
1905 – Gun License Act (Amendment).
Aboriginal people were required to have a special license in all circumstances.
1906 – Gun License Act (Amendment).
Provisions were introduced covering shooting galleries.
1925 – Gun License Act (Amendment).
The licensing of "any Asiatic or African alien" was prohibited and responsibility for the issuing of permits was given over to the Treasury.
1931 – Firearms and Guns Act.
Pistols had to be licensed in all circumstances with the age limit for a permit set at 21. Shotguns and rifles in country districts were not required to be registered outside of municipalities or five miles thereabouts. The concept of a "fit and proper person" was introduced and the discretion to refuse a license was placed in the hands of the police, along with extensive powers to detain and search without a warrant.
1973 – Firearms Act.
Police discretionary powers were entrenched and extended. Comprehensive registration became fixed. Membership of a police-approved shooting club was recognised as a "genuine reason" for licensing and detailed regulations were introduced to supplement the Act.
1997 – Firearms Act (Amendment).
The Act and regulations were altered to the reflect the provisions of the 1996 National Firearms Agreement.
1997 – To The Present.
Western Australia’s Firearms Act and regulations have undergone several changes since 1997. The most notable being regular club attendance requirements for people with licensed handguns following a national standard agreed to in 2002.
Into The Future –
The following is a link to the 2008 ministerial report regarding the review of WA's Firearms Act.
Shooters Union WA has been assured it'll form the basis of the forthcoming overhaul of the legislation - together with several other changes which are yet to be made public.
While the thing is littered with distinctly non-shooter friendly stuff, including a call for magazine limits on longarms, of particular concern is 'Recommendation 14' which proposes a five year re-justification system.
Shooters should be under no illusions - what's intended is that every five years you’ll have demonstrate that you still have a 'genuine reason' (read: new property letters) in order to keep your license.