Consider the following hypothetical legislation and situation:
On 1st February 2020, the Federal parliament passed the Firearm Restriction (Terrorist Organisations) Bill 2020. In the Second Reading speech to the bill, the Minister for Home Affairs stated:
“This creates very serious offences for people in terrorist and other like organisations. It prohibits the use, ownership or possession of firearms amongst those very dangerous people in our society who would use guns for terrorism and other acts of group violence. This legislation has broad application, so that these offences will apply not only to terrorist organisations, but to any group in our society that seeks to achieve its aims through violence and intimidation. Through these measures, this government seeks to maintain Australia as a peaceful society, and punish those who are a threat to our peace and stability.”
The Act gained Royal Assent on the 14th February 2020. As passed it read as follows:
Firearm Restriction (Terrorist Organisations) Act 2020
An Act to prohibit the possession and distribution of weapons amongst Terrorist Organisations
In this Act the following definitions apply:
‘firearm’ means shot-gun, machine gun, or other weapon.
‘member’ includes people who have a continuous or ongoing association with a group.
‘prohibited group’ means any group established with the intention of furthering political, religious or ideological ideals in a violent or disruptive manner.
Any person who is a member of a group is guilty of an offence.
Penalty $5000 fine and or 2 months imprisonment.
Any person who has any role in funding the activities of a prohibited group is guilty of an offence.
Penalty $5000 fine and/or up to 6 months imprisonment.
Any member of a prohibited group who owns, possesses, or uses a firearm in any circumstances whatsoever is guilty of an offence.
Penalty $10000 fine and/or up to 1 year imprisonment.
A police officer who discovers a firearm in possession of a member of a prohibited group may confiscate and destroy that firearm.
Any person who obstructs a police officer in the exercise of his or her duty under s6 is guilty of an offence.
Penalty $5000 fine and/or up to 2 months imprisonment.
Bob Katterina is a stockman who was recently in Darwin for the Annual Cattle Herders and Graziers Association conference, of which he has attended every year since 1993. On 6th April 2020 he was leaving the conference where he was stopped and searched by police. They found him carrying an air rifle. The police tried to seize the air rifle, but Bob yelled out and held on to it. Bob’s friend, Clive Palmerston, who is the CEO of the association, saw what was happening and came over to intervene. He pulled the police officer away from Bob and shouted at Bob to run. Bob grabbed the air rifle and accidentally fired it as he ran away, and was eventually caught by police.
At the station, the police investigated the Cattle Herders and Graziers Association. They learned that the annual conference was fully funded by a donation given on the 27th February 2020 by the PH Foundation, a trust set up and controlled by well-known local Darwin philanthropist Pamela Hanson. Pamela states she funded this conference based on her attendance last year and being very impressed with the event. She states she has had no other interactions with the group.
The police investigation also uncovered that the Cattle Herders and Graziers Association been planning nation-wide protests against gas mining leases over farming properties to commence in June 2020. Their planned actions included setting up a picket at the headquarters of Mines R US Pty. Ltd. in Darwin, holding placards and chanting slogans loudly through microphones during business hours. Police have now charged Bob under s3, s5, and s7, Pamela under s3 and s4 and Clive under s3 and s7.
You are a defence lawyer. Using IRAC outline the argument for the defence for all charged parties.
Base your discussion on statutory interpretation law only. Do not include criminal law (including intent, or defences), constitutional law, tort law or any other area of law.