Senator Peter Bunting
Opposition Senator Peter Bunting is calling for the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) to stop denying applications from police officers seeking to acquire guns for their personal protection.
He has suggested that the FLA is denying hundreds of applications from police personnel and the reasons given are not understandable.
The issue has been raised by the Police Federation, which strongly criticised the FLA.
Speaking during Thursday's sitting of the Senate to debate the new Firearms Act, Mr. Bunting said that the FLA should do more for police personnel who serve on the frontlines and need personal protection.
Citing the case of one police officer, Mr. Bunting said the cop applied for a gun permit but received a letter denying his application which explained that the "Applicant's area of residence is of concern and is likely to pose a greater risk to the applicant if a firearm is introduced."
Mr. Bunting blasted the FLA for denying the police officer on the basis that he had the "wrong address".
According to the senator, such practice will only serve to demoralise members of the police force who are the ones at the front in the fight against crime.
He urged the National Security Minister to address the issue, which he called unfair and elitist, adding that the new Firearms Act would not be able to help since by the time it is passed, the 21-day period for appeal to the FLA would have already gone.
An applicant who fails to appeal the denial of a permit within that time will have to wait two years before they can reapply.