We won’t give reasons, go away!

We recently described how the the Tasmanian Police, operating Tasmania’s firearms registry, banned some rifles because of their appearance. They banned the Australian-made, Warwick Firearms WFA1 and we asked them: why?  Who was on the Committee that advised about the ban?  TasPol said:

Unfortunately, this office is unable to supply you with the requested information.

I would suggest that you seek the information by way of a Right to Information request, the link for which can be found at http://www.police.tas.gov.au/information-disclosure/

We might take them up on that opportunity.  But it seems very secretive for a publicly-announced decision not to offer any written reasons!

So we’ve asked the Tasmanian Police Minister

Dear Minister Hodgman,

The Tasmanian Police recently prohibited an Australian-made sporting rifle. It is not a semi-automatic rifle. It has a bolt that the user has to pull back to reload the rifle – just like thousands of other rifles in use across your State and mainland Australia.

In Australia, administrative decision-makers who are banning something are usually obliged to offer written reasons for their decision. This is generally expected of administrative decision-makers in English-speaking countries. Police services in some poorer foreign countries are able to ban anything summarily, to arrest people arbitrarily and to “confiscate” their property. However, in Australia it would seem highly abnormal to ban property with no written reasons. It would seem fitting for a third-world dictatorship littered with bureaucrats who neither knew about nor cared about the consequences of their actions.

In the email below I asked the Police why. I also asked who was on the Committee that advised on this (surely well thought-out) decision to oppress Australian industry.

In the interests of openness, would you be able to procure written reasons for this decision?

When we hear, we’ll let you know.  We aren’t sure the Tasmanian Police even know precisely why they banned it.