A man who successfully overturned a decision by New South Wales police to revoke his gun license on the grounds of disability.
- New South Wales Police have revoked Ashton’s license due to his poor health and being in a wheelchair.
- Ashton said he could retrieve a dropped gun by shooting through the window of a parked car.
- Court ruled there was no evidence Ashton could not trust guns
The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Court (NCAT) ruled this week that Gregory Ashton was “a decent and suitable person who can be trusted to possess a firearm” after a two-year battle to retain his license and gun. declared.
Officers made the decision to revoke his license in September 2020 after visiting his home for routine firearms inspections. There we observed Mr. Ashton using his wheelchair due to the effects of muscular dystrophy.
Police later sent Ashton a letter stating that his license had been revoked “due to his current ill health and confinement to a wheelchair,” arguing that he had “no real reason to obtain a gun license.” bottom.
Police also alleged that Ashton was “arguing and belligerent” during the inspection and “disregarded firearms laws.”
A 72-year-old man has appealed to the court, claiming he has been using firearms since he was 12, some of them used for hunting and some kept as collectibles.
When asked how his disability would affect his use of the gun, Ashton told the court he could “shoot out the window from a stationary car” and retrieve it if he dropped it. He said he could
Mr Ashton said in court that the unannounced police visit was a “shock” and he found them “intimidating”, while his wife Robin said the officers were “insulting and condescending” towards her husband. criticized.
A lawyer representing the New South Wales Police Commissioner told the court, “It was never in the Commissioner’s position that a person with a disability could never be licensed to carry a firearm”, citing “Paralympic shooters” as an example. used.
However, it argued that “the commissioner has not reached a state of satisfaction regarding the safe storage and handling of firearms and how Mr Ashton conducts himself.”
NCAT senior member Linda Rogers reversed the decision, saying there was no evidence Ashton could not trust guns.
“I am satisfied that there are no significant risks due to his physical disability in handling and using firearms,” Rogers said.
Adding the Commissioner’s allegations, they are “unsupported by evidence and, in my view, are theoretical or fanciful”.
Ashton can now reapply for renewal of his firearms license.