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Adler reclassification likely to go ahead

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016

The reclassification of the controversial Adler shotgun to the toughest category looks like getting the go-ahead, opening the way for limited importation to resume.

It's understood that NSW - which had been the sole holdout among the states - has relented and will agree to reclassifying the gun to category D when the issue is discussed at Friday's Coalition of Australian Governments meeting on Friday.

"The premier is looking forward to having productive discussions at COAG," a spokesman for NSW Premier Mike Baird said on Sunday.

The Abbott government in 2015 paused the importation of the Adler 110 lever-action shotgun in the wake of the Lindt cafe siege.

That ban cannot be changed until a consensus is reached among the states on lifting it from the current category A, which allows recreational shooters to own one, to a more restrictive category.

State police and justice ministers met with federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan in October to discuss how to deal with the gun, which is capable of firing eight shots in eight seconds.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Sunday "the classification of firearms and regulation of them is a matter for states and territories under the national firearms agreement".

The likely outcome now is that the Adler will be reclassified as category D, making them available to basically only "very few users" such as feral pest controllers, generally working for governments.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, speaking in the NSW regional city of Dubbo, said the D category was a fair compromise.

"A category D licence would enable people who require access to the Adler gun to have it, but ensure that those people who don't need that access don't have it," he told reporters.

However, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, established in memory of sisters killed in the Port Arthur massacre, cautioned against any watering down of gun laws.

"In particular, there should be no moves to water down the restrictions applied to Category D firearms," chief executive Lesley Podesta said on Sunday.

"Now is not the time to be horse-trading away community safety," she added.

The issue has caused divisions in the government, with Nationals senators Bridget McKenzie and John 'Wacka' Williams voting last month with Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm in a bid to overturn the import ban.

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