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INT’L – GUN CONTROL – Ban on gun, ammo sales to go, shooting allowed ‘if you really need to’

A temporary ban on the sale of firearms and ammunition in Victoria will be lifted at the same time coronavirus restrictions are eased across the state. From 11.59pm on Tuesday, restrictions on the selling, loaning and hiring of guns will be lifted, with sport and target shooting and recreational hunting allowed to resume. In a letter to the firearms industry sent on Tuesday morning, Victoria Police’s licensing and regulation division reminded shooters that they needed to practice social distancing and should only undertake them “if you really need to”. “It is integral to your health and wellbeing,” the letter read. The decision to ban the sales of firearms and ammunition was announced by the government and police on March 31, with authorities citing an increase in gun sales as justification for the measure. However, this reasoning was disputed by many within the industry, with gun dealers saying the surge in demand was caused by shooters buying products before a 15 per cent price rise on many firearm products that was due to kick in on April 1, caused by the drop in the value of the Australian dollar compared with the US dollar. An association representing up to two dozen Melbourne gun dealers launched a legal challenge against the ban, and the first directions hearing was held in court on Monday.  [full article]

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