Supplementary Order Paper No 447

No 447

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Arms Legislation Bill

Proposed amendment

Brett Hudson, in Committee, to move the following amendment:

Clause 83

In clause 83, new section 91, replace subsection (1) (page 100, lines 4 to 12) with:

(1)

This section applies if a health practitioner who has attended or been consulted in respect of a person who the practitioner knows or has reason to believe is a firearms licence holder considers that the health condition of the licence holder is such that there is an immediate threat to individual or public safety and the firearms owner.

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper amends clause 83 of the Arms Legislation Bill. It proposes that health practitioners may only provide a notification to Police if they have reason to believe that there is an immediate threat to public or individual safety.

This is a change from the provision currently in the bill, which would allow health practitioners to give Police medical reports of persons unfit to use a firearm if they believe the mental or physical condition of the licence holder is such that, in the interests of the safety of individuals or the public, the licence holder should not be permitted to use or possess a firearm or should be subject to limitations on their firearm use.

The new provision seeks to balance patient confidence in their healthcare practitioner with the need to provide for the safety of the individual and public.

Rural communities already struggle to access services, and need confidence that issues raised with their health practitioner are kept in confidence. Therefore, the reason for notifying Police should be one based on an immediate threat to individual or public safety. This ensures people get the access to mental health services that they need without feeling like they’re being persecuted.