Selling letters that support gun licence applications will be banned as part of a complete overhaul of the “corrupted” system that allows hundreds of individuals to nominate the same property — often thousands of kilometres from where they live — as the location they intend to shoot. Prospective gun owners must also complete a physical and mental health assessment and a mandatory training course before being granted a license. The proposed changes — to be announced by Police Minister Paul Papalia on Tuesday — round out the Cook Government’s crackdown on gun ownership as part of a complete rewrite of the Firearms Act. Central to the reforms are sweeping amendments to the property letter system, creating a lucrative industry for rural and remote property owners willing to sell documents authorising strangers to shoot on their land. The Firearms Act requires gun owners to have a genuine need — such as hunting or shooting vermin — to own their weapons. So-called property letters effectively satisfy that requirement by providing individuals with a reason to own and discharge a firearm. Mr Papalia said too many people owned a gun “under the pretence of the outdated” property letter system. “It’s not right that someone in a metropolitan suburb can buy a property letter authority online and use that as their only excuse to own a firearm,” he said. “Reforming the written authority requirements will likely remove tens of thousands of guns from WA.” The new laws — which will spend a month in public consultation before being finalised and introduced to Parliament next year — propose forcing every firearm owner to “revalidate” existing letters received either from a rural or remote property or a shooting club. Strict new conditions will be placed on landowners and shooting clubs issuing such letters, including a requirement they first register through a new digital licensing system – which will require an assessment of their suitability. In the case of property letters, WA Police will consider whether the land’s size, location and feral/vermin control requirements warrant the ability to issue supporting documents. The Government also proposes limiting the number of letters a single property can issue and altogether banning seeking any remuneration in exchange for a property letter. Property letters would also need to be renewed every year. Failure by a gun owner to obtain a valid property letter through the new system would result in their existing licence being revoked. There would be no limit on the number of letters an approved shooting club can issue, but they would be required to report any changes to their membership, with fines in place for failing to do so. The other significant changes are introducing a mandatory firearm safety training course for prospective gun owners and requiring they complete both a physical and mental health check. While the details of both are still to be decided, the Government expects the health checks to be compatible with telehealth and for the training to be easily accessible across the entire State. “All new licence applicants must complete compulsory firearms handling training,” Mr Papalia said. “Health assessments will also be required upon application, and every five years after that until 80 years of age where they must then be completed annually, similar to what is required for maintaining a driver’s licence.” As revealed by The West Australian, the new laws also propose banning individual gun owners from possessing more than 10 firearms — making WA the first jurisdiction in the country to impose a cap.