Silencers considered as part of hunting in National Parks policy

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Leaked documents show a proposal to lift bans on firearm silencers has been included as part of the O'Farrell Government's hunting in national parks policy – confirming once again the dangerous plan should not be allowed to go ahead.

Despite the Premier announcing Environment Minister Robyn Parker was in charge of developing the hunting protocols in May last year, it has today been revealed she didn’t even consult the Police Minister before including the reckless plan to allow the use of silencers.

The Office of Environment and Heritage's Supplementary Pest Control in Parks Program – Draft Risk Assessment dated February 2013 states:

The following additional controls will be implemented: "Where appropriate, assist R-licensed hunters apply for and use sound moderators on firearms in areas where noise from shots may affect public amenity." (p51)

The NSW Firearms Act currently prohibits the use of "any firearm to which there is attached any article or device capable of muffling, reducing or stopping the noise created by firing the firearm".

"This is just the latest irresponsible and dangerous part of the O'Farrell Government's amateur hunting in national parks policy," Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley said.

"The general ban on silencers under the NSW Firearms Act exists for a very good reason, to stop silencers falling into the hands of criminals.

“The Game Council has pulled the wool over the eyes of the Environment Minister, who is clearly unaware this reckless control has been on the wish list of the Game Council for some time.

"The fact this proposed control made it to version six of the risk assessment speaks volumes about what little attention the Environment Minister and O'Farrell Government is paying to this policy.

"Barry O'Farrell's own department has already warned there is a high risk of serious injury or death if the Premier proceeds with his legislation to allow hunting in national parks.

"Regardless of what controls are put in place, opening up our national parks to amateur hunters is a highly dangerous and irresponsible policy that should never go ahead."