AUSTRALIA’s High Court has thrown out a challenge to its controversial gun law, ruling it breaches the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
Key points:The High Court found the Federal Government’s ban on semi-automatic firearms was “a breach of fundamental freedoms”A petition for a judicial review is now in its third weekThe High Council for Civil Liberties has asked the Federal Parliament to legislate to overturn the decisionThe Federal Government had been attempting to amend its gun laws by allowing people to purchase up to three guns per household per year, which would allow up to six guns for self-defence.
The Supreme Court in January 2017 rejected the appeal of gun rights groups challenging the law, finding it was not a “surgical” change that would take the gun control debate “in a positive direction”.
“There is no rational basis for the Government’s proposal to permit, by the end of 2019, a significant number of persons to purchase and possess a number of firearms in a single household,” the court said in a unanimous ruling.
The court said it would be “a real shame” if the Federal Opposition had been successful in pushing for a review.
“It is time for the Australian Government to act and act quickly,” Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said.
“Australians need to be free to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and they need to know that if they want to exercise that right, they can do so lawfully.”
The High Courts judgment, published on Thursday, is the third in three months that has struck down the law.
Last week, a federal court ruled the ban on long guns, which have a maximum capacity of more than 10 rounds, violated the right of Australians to freedom from unlawful interference.
The Government had appealed against the decision, but the High Court on Thursday ruled the Government was entitled to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal, where a decision could be taken within weeks.
The Federal Parliament has not acted to amend the legislation since the High Council of Civil Liberties petitioned for a Judicial Review, and the Federal Greens have not been consulted on the legislation.
Topics:law-crime-and-justice,gun-control,government-and/or-politics,parliament,law-transparency,federal—state-issues,australiaFirst posted April 14, 2019 16:15:17Contact Nick TackettMore stories from Western Australia