We immediately checked around and determined that, until recently, hunters have been able to import handguns into the Northern Territory of Australia for the purpose of hunting. But not any more. In an e-mail dated October 9, 2002, a gentleman by the name of Stefan Herold has this to say on the matter. Herold identified himself to us as the Officer in Charge of Firearms Policy & Records Unit, Northern Territory Police:
"As a result of amendments to the Customs (Prohibited Import) Regulations in 2000, which are aimed at controlling the importation of handguns into Australia, the activity of safari hunting is no longer recognized.... Prior to these amendments, police could authorize the importation of handguns for hunting purposes on Customs Form B709A, and the Northern Territory policy was that persons wishing to import firearms into Australia for hunting purposes could do so through a recognized safari company...."
Herold goes on in his e-mail to point out that the ban on the use of handguns for the purpose of hunting extends to the use of borrowed firearms. "Under current legislation in the Northern Territory, safari operators are only issued a handgun for occupational safety reasons as they operate in remote and hostile environments and they have a duty of care to their clients, and also for the purpose of carrying out humane destruction of wounded/misshot animals. The handgun can only be possessed and used by licensed employees of the safari operator."........(continued)