Legistrative Council E-Petitions

E-petition Number
37
Title
Self-Defence Reform
Grievance
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council the ongoing increase of violent crime in Victoria and the inability of law-abiding citizens to adequately protect themselves against violent crime.
Repeated incidents of violent home invasions, armed robberies, carjackings and now armed gangs attacking Victorians and their businesses have highlighted the need for self-defence reform. We point also to the recent example of Victoria Police Senior Constable Daniel Yeoman, who was nearly killed by a criminal in a violent home invasion. He was not able to defend himself adequately because Victorian law trusts him to carry non-lethal self-defence tools while employed as a Police Officer, but also prohibits him from carrying them off-duty and out of uniform.
Furthermore, the recent example of Albury, NSW farmer David Dunstan having his firearms removed by police because he used them in defence of his family on his rural property against an armed criminal, further highlights the inadequacy and unfortunate regressive nature of self-defence laws in Australia.
While citizens in Victoria are currently afforded the right to self-defence under section 462a of the Crimes Act 1958, this right to self-defence is essentially meaningless when the same citizens are denied access to the practical means to self-defence. The fact that non-lethal self-defence items remain illegal in Victoria is irrational, particularly given the fact that criminals perpetrating violent home invasions and armed robberies in Victoria are already armed in spite of the law.
The right to preserve one’s life is the most basic human right of all. Victoria prides itself on being a “progressive” state; however, its policy towards self-defence and the right to preserve life is unfortunately severely regressive.
Action
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the Government to take the following actions:
(1) legalise and make available non-lethal self-defence items such as pepper spray, tasers and batons etc. to law-abiding citizens of Victoria for the purpose of self-defence of their lives, their families and their homes;
(2) initiate appropriate legislative action and amendments to section 462 of the Crimes Act 1958 supporting ‘castle doctrine’ and re-enforcing the right for home owners to protect themselves and their families in the safety of their own homes; and
(3) support proposals for Victoria Police officers to carry their accoutrements off-duty, provided they meet relevant training and storage standards and requirements.
Closing Date
2017-11-09
Not tabled signatures
483
Total signatures including previously tabled
483
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Signing deadline passed

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Sponsor
Mr Daniel James Young (former)