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TRENDING ON SHOOTERS UNION: REGIONAL ISSUES

Weapons Licencing Verification System online now

WEAPONS Licensing Branch have launched a helpful new online tool which instantly provides a validity report on a Queensland firearms licence.

You can access the tool here

The online licence verification tool allows a user to enter a firearms licence number and expiry date, and will confirm if it is still valid or has been suspended.

While the new tool does not take the place of sighting a physical licence card, but should still prove useful for licensed gun dealers as well as regular shooters wanting to ensure a licensed friend is still properly authorised before lending them a firearm.

This is a step forward for Queensland and it is good to see WLB continuing to implement 21 st century technology in its firearms reporting systems.

It’s time for activists to be moved on…

It hasn’t taken long for the animal rights brigade to start harassing farmers in the wake of the “Aussie Farms” debacle. News reports that activists were harassing a farmer in Harvey, WA resulting in a heated confrontation was exactly the sort of thing sensible people were worried would happen.

While there is some dispute over exactly how the confrontation played out, it is abundantly clear that it would not have happened had an animal rights group not taken it upon themselves to video a farm for ideological reasons.

The farmer involved said the activists’ presence was stressing his cattle out and tormenting the local community, and says the activists were verbally abusive when he asked them to leave.

While it might be legal to video or photograph private property from a public street, the legislation and precedents were clearly laid down back in an era when people generally weren’t complete muppets and could be trusted to do the right thing, and also the internet didn’t exist.

We think it’s time the various State Governments of Australia considered introducing laws which would allow landholders and homeowners the ability to “Move On” people with anti-social intentions from outside their property, even if those people were on a public road or similar. Property owners, when faced with a situation such as an animal rights group filming their farm activities, should be able to instruct them to move elsewhere, with the authorities called if the antisocial party refuses to comply.

Farmers are hardworking, passionate people who care deeply about their stock and their crops. If people with honest intentions want to see a farm working, there are a number of agricultural peak bodies and local chambers of commerce who could potentially help organise a visit. Just showing up outside a farm with a smartphone camera, a social media account, and an activist agenda is not the way to do it, and legislation needs to reflect that reality.

Between drought and floods, our hardworking farmers simply don’t need any more stress or challenges – especially not those wrought by self-righteous city-dwelling activists who have no idea about farming.

It’s very simple – eat what you like, and don’t force your dietary-lifestyle choices onto others or use them as the basis to disrupt a vital part of the Australian economy. Perhaps some of the farming peak bodies should start protesting and filming vegan restaurants and organic markets? After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

State Forest Hunting Petition Support

ANYONE who has spent any time outside the city knows feral animals are a huge problem in Queensland.

Rabbits, hares, foxes, wild dogs, kangaroos, deer and feral pigs – they are all at plague proportions and a constant threat to our farmer’s livelihoods, eating feed needed by cows, nibbling away on vegetables meant for your dinner table, digging up fences and generally causing havoc.

Queensland environmental scientist Daniel Boniface is hoping to change that via a petition on the state government website calling for a three year trial of hunting in Queensland’s state forests.

You can sign the petition here.

The petition only applies to state forests – there is no call to open national parks for hunting – and its purpose is to establish a three year trial to prove viability and gain data to enable a properly informed discussion about implementing the scheme permanently.

Unlike New South Wales and Victoria, which have successful state forest hunting schemes in place, Queensland currently refuses to allow this and is subsequently missing out on literally millions of dollars in potential economic benefits – not just from hunting licence fees, but from
the flow-on effects to rural communities from tourism, accommodation, fuel sales, food purchases and the like.

The Economic Impact of Recreational Hunting in New South Wales report commissioned by the NSW Department of Primary Industries in 2017 stated that hunting in the state’s forests had generated $119 million in gross revenue for the 2016-17 financial year.

A 2014 report from Victoria – Estimating the economic impact of hunting in Victoria in 2013 – stated the activity was worth an estimated $439 million to the state.

Shooters Union wholeheartedly supports this petition and we urge our members, supporters and friends to sign it if they have not already done so – the benefits of the proposal are countless and would make a huge difference to shooters, landowners and nature-lovers across the state.
There are an estimated 200,000 licensed shooters in Queensland, a huge number of whom would dearly love the opportunity to keep these pests under control – except they’re not allowed into the state forests where these animals breed.

Landowners across Queensland have been telling us this is a huge problem – even if they shoot the pests on their land, they are still breeding in state forests where hunters cannot reach them due to the existing laws.

City-based shooters are crying out for somewhere to hunt and not everyone has the luxury of owning a suitable property or having a friend or family member with access to one.

In addition to helping keep feral pests under control and give our struggling farmers and rural communities a much needed hand, it will allow an entire generation of shooters to experience and enjoy hunting in Queensland’s great outdoors. Better access to hunting areas means more licensed shooters which means a stronger voice when we speak in support of our sport – the benefits are countless and the downsides are non-existent.

Support your sport and protect our natural environment – sign the petition and support hunting in Queensland’s state forests!

Article written by Royce Wilson on behalf of Shooters Union Australia.

Our Farmers Need You!

We are recruiting volunteers to form flying squads to operate in the St George Dirrinbandi Thallon Nindygully Bollon areas for eight/nine weeks from the 24th of September.

We are asking that you volunteer one or two weeks of your time during the period 24th September to the end of November.

These times will be rostered so we can have a full compliment on each Flying Squad at all times.

We have planned to have 3 squads on the ground with a compliment of 12-15 personnel.

We would like to recruit the following for each squad.

  1. Doctor in General Practice
  2. Chiropractor
  3. Masseuse
  4. Physio
  5. Nurse
  6. Solicitor
  7. Accountant/Consultant
  8. Cook
  9. Carpenter
  10. Electrician
  11. Plumber
  12. Painter
  13. General Dogs Body
  14. General Dogs Body
  15. General Dogs Body
  16. General Dogs Body

This drought relief operation is aimed at those people who fall through the net of the general drought aid and in particular the personal hygiene and wellbeing of our FARMERS.

Are you interested?

Experience our drought first hand. For more information contact 07 5466 5840 or 0491336694
Email: johnpfei.rural@spin.net.au

Download. Print Kill?

The rise of 3D printed guns in Australia.

3D printers and guns keep turning up in police raids.

Australia’s gun enthusiasts aren’t particularly enthused about 3D printed plastic guns.

“Any experienced shooter is likely to say – no thanks, I like these five fingers. And two eyes!” said Graham Park, president of the Shooters Union, which represents around 200,000 of the country’s firearm owners.

“In shooting circles they’re considered a joke because they’re so bad. No one wants one because most people are terrified they’ll blow up in their hand,” he said.

Their fears are well founded. In 2013, New South Wales Police used a $1700 desktop 3D printer to manufacture two ‘Liberator’ guns designed by US firm Defense Distributed.

In the first test, one of the guns had what police ballisticians called a ‘catastrophic failure’: it blew itself apart. In 2014, the UK’s National Ballistics Intelligence Service ran tests with similar results. In one, a piece of the gun ended up lodged in a ceiling panel.

Defense Distributed’s Cody Wilson – who this month won a legal battle to put his firm’s gun blueprints back online – has called the tests “propaganda” and “convenient disinformation”. But firearm users in Australia are not convinced.

“At present 3D printed guns hold no interest for 99 per cent of legitimate firearm owners, the one per cent being niche owners like collectors, or theatrical armorers,” said Kirk Yatras of  lobby group Firearm Owners United.

Recreational shooters and farmers want guns they can rely on and “use over and over again, not a throwaway” adds Park.

But another major demographic of Australian gun users has embraced the technology with zeal: organised criminal gangs.

Plastic printed weapons and the equipment to make them keep turning up in police raids, and more frequently here than in any other country, according to new analysis from QUT researchers.

Within days of Dr Monique Mann and Dr Angela Daly from the university’s law faculty releasing their briefing paper 3D Printing, Policing and Crime this month, more guns allegedly manufactured using a 3D printer turned up in a raid on a suburban Sunshine Coast property.

“I’m not a fortune teller. But if they’re out there, and being seized, eventually a 3D printed gun shooting is going to happen,” Mann said. “It’s only a matter of time.”

Download. Print. Bang

The most common 3D printers work by repeatedly depositing layers of molten plastic from a moving nozzle, until an object is formed. The process is called fused deposition modeling.

Two types of thermoplastics are typically used, PLA and ABS. PLA is cheaper and more brittle, while ABS is stronger and more durable.

Printers – which can be purchased for around $1300 or less – can manufacture objects from laser scans of existing objects, or from CAD files. Designs for guns are readily available on file sharing websites and the darknet.

The machines and printed guns and parts keep showing up at properties raided by Australian police. In 2015 a police raid on a suburban Gold Coast home found 3D printed gun components which police later pieced together and fired.

In 2016, a printer was seized at a property in Seabrook in Melbourne associated with an outlaw motorcycle gang. Later that year another printer was discovered at a property in Melbourne’s southeast with links to the Calabrian mafia, with three 3D printed firearms and knuckleduster found at another mafia-linked property two weeks later.

Again in 2016, police raids on businesses in Nerang on the Gold Coast uncovered 3D printers and homemade automatic submachine guns.

These are just some of the finds and discoveries continue. Firearms allegedly manufactured using a 3D printer were seized during a raid in the Sunshine Coast suburb of Mudjimba last week.

“The rate at which they’re being discovered is pretty quick,” said QUT’s Mann. “It’s usually in the course of drug investigations. [The police are] not going out there looking for guns, they’re going out there looking for methamphetamine and in the course of those operations they do a raid, then they discover the guns.”

Mann and Daly speculate that a number of factors unique to Australia are driving the high incidence of 3D printing among criminals here. Potentially, Mann says, “those elements combined may mean that it’s easier for someone to 3D print a gun than to obtain it through other means”.

Capable of killing

Firearms made with a 3D printer aren’t completely useless. In the NSW Police’s test of its second Liberator, the gun fired a bullet 17cm into a block of gelatine soap, which ballisticians use as a proxy for human muscle.

Then Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione declared the weapon “certainly capable of killing anyone”.

Tests by the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, showedsuch weapons were capable of being “lethal” and could fire a bullet that could “reach vital organs and perforate the skull”.

Being mainly constructed from plastic – although a metal bullet and firing pin is required – means 3D printed plastic guns are difficult for security screen metal detectors to pick up, prompting fears of an In the Line of Fire scenario.

Journalists have demonstrated this point twice; carrying one aboard a Eurostar train from London to Paris, and pulling one out during a press conference, metres from Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.

Even non-functioning 3D printed plastic replicas of guns are potentially useful to criminals.

“Someone with a plastic gun that doesn’t fire but nonetheless will use it to threaten people is a significant problem,” says Gun Control Australia spokesperson Charles Watson.

“We’re not used to having hand guns around. And a very good fake handgun is a real problem in criminality terms,” he said.

The material by its nature “also allows for an easily disposable weapon in that evidence of the firearm can be melted and destroyed,” Mann adds.

As well as the appeal of such features, the QUT researchers suggest the adoption of plastic firearms by local criminals also comes from the difficulty they face in obtaining standard metal guns in Australia.

“We’re an island, we have very strict border control regimes, it’s not impossible but it’s very hard to get stuff relative to say the EU with open borders. Obviously in the US people don’t really need to print guns because you can get them pretty easily through other avenues quite legally. Also Australia has very strict gun control laws,” Mann said.

It is difficult to say with certainty how difficult it is for criminals to obtain a illegal firearm without printing one. The Australian Federal Police admits it doesn’t knowhow many weapons are making it to the country unnoticed.

But Australia’s “unique context” may have “created a gap in the market” for the plastic guns, Mann says.

Triggered

Legislators are responding to the inevitable rise in the numbers of 3D printed firearms. Many countries have updated existing gun laws to include those manufactured with a 3D printer.

Spain and Germany have introduced laws to prohibit the “dissemination of information” like CAD files relating to 3D printed firearms without a license.

New South Wales has gone one step further. In 2015 the state parliament passed legislation to make it illegal to possess files – ‘digital blueprint’ – that can be used to manufacture a firearm on a 3D printer or electronic milling machine. The maximum penalty in 14 years in jail.

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research confirmed to Computerworld that no finalised criminal charges have yet been brought under the law. That could soon change when Sicen Sun faces sentencing at District Court in Sydney for the offence in August.

Although the law will certainly deter some, Mann says it will be “really hard for police to identify and police and enforce this”.

“Whether or not that’s going to be effective, we don’t know,” she added.

Similar legislation failed to pass in Queensland. A Senate standing committee into law enforcement’s ability to quash gun-related violence in 2015 discussed 3D guns, and recommended governments “continue to monitor the risk”.

There have been calls for additional regulations, including controls built in to 3D printers to prevent them from printing gun designs.

“It has also been suggested that 3D printing machines be pre-loaded with a database of designs that could be matched to prints and prevented from printing firearms,” Mann says. Alternatively the blueprints could be hashed and removed from websites, which could prove difficult given different countries have different laws, “and it’s concerning, putting controls on the Internet,” Mann adds.

Such measures, according to Firearm Owners United’s Yatras, who takes a keen interest in open source, are “humorous if you consider that a large amount of development has been undertaken by the open source community and thus the source code for some of the most popular 3D printer models is published online”.

He considers the new NSW law to be “a total waste of resources”. On this Yatras finds an unlikely ally in Gun Control Australia’s Watson.

“Holding people who possess the [digital files] as gun owners is very dicey. I don’t think that’s going to work myself, I can’t see it’s a practical outcome,” Watson said.

As the technology and materials improve, 3D printed guns are likely to become far more effective as weapons. It is now possible to mostly 3D print guns in metal, and metal printers are coming down in price and up in useability.

Police across the country are taking note. Last week, Mann presented her research at a seminar hosted by the Queensland Police Service’s Intelligence and Covert Services Command, attended by representatives from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Federal Police and the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission.

“It’s worrying for Australia because we have relatively good gun control overall, and something which enables the underworld to get access to more guns would not be a good thing,” said Watson.

“I’m sure it is a problem and it will be a growing problem. I don’t think there’s any need for panic or hysteria at the present time, but police and other agencies are really going to have to look out for this.”

Article Written by George Nott for Computerworld from IDG. Please click here for link to the original article. 

NSW: Calling for volunteer non-commercial kangaroo shooters

The following information applies to properties in New South Wales only.
Kangaroo management: Changes to non-commercial landholder licences and shooter requirements

Effective from Wednesday the 8th of August 2018, the NSW Government has made changes to landholder licences to harm kangaroos to reduce populations as part of a package of drought relief measures.

Experienced shooters with a current Firearms Licence and suitable firearms are invited to list their details on the Local Land Services (LLS) Kangaroo Shooter Register. Shooter details on the register are available to licensed landholders seeking assistance from professional or volunteer shooters.

You do not need a NSW Game Hunting Licence to participate.

NSW DPI Game Licensing Unit has been heavily involved in preparations for these changes alongside the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and LLS. We developed the Volunteer Non-Commercial Kangaroo Shooters Best Practice Guide to help guide the legal, safe, humane and ethical culling of kangaroos under these new arrangements.

What has changed?
  • Physical tags – no longer required.
  • More than two shooters may operate under a landholder licence at any time.
  • Shooters no longer need to be listed on the landholder’s licence at the time of application and only need to be listed on landholder licence returns after culling operations.
  • Carcasses may be removed for personal use (but not sold, swapped or traded).
Landholder licensing
Landholders are able to apply for a Licence to Harm Kangaroos over the phone or in person with their local National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) office.NPWS, part of OEH, will assess the property size and issue an allocation (like a quota) of kangaroos that may be non-commercially culled on that land.

How to qualify

How to help landholders
Landholders who are licensed to harm kangaroos are able to access a Local Land Services Kangaroo Shooter Register to find professional or volunteer shooters.You can register your interest using the online form provided by LLS (use the button below).

Remember, you must have permission before entering any property to shoot.and the property must be covered by a licence to harm kangaroos issued to the landholder by OEH/NPWS.

Register your interest: Volunteer or professional kangaroo shooters

Volunteer Non-Commercial Kangaroo Shooters Best Practice Guide

Detailed information about the changes is available on the following websites:

Shooters should also be familiar and comply with the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Non-Commercial Purposes.

Firearm regulations around mental health challenging practitioners in rural areas

SHOOTERS UNION RESPONSE: Shooters Union agrees with Federal Member David Littleproud and others quoted in this excellent Queensland Country Life Article, in that losing a weapons licence should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and not with wide reaching, one-size fits all, cookie-cutter approaches which may well discourage the people who need it the most, from seeking help.

A regulation that requires people wishing to receive psychological counselling to relinquish their weapons licence and firearms is proving to be a harmful barrier to rural people seeking help, according to agencies working in western Queensland.

The concern was raised with federal ministers, Matt Canavan and David Littleproud, at a public forum in Longreach recently.

Peter Whip, the chairman of Outback Futures, a not-for-profit organisation providing professional and consistent allied health services to rural and remote Queenslanders, described it as a serious deterrent.

“Most mental health funding is linked to having a mental health plan,” he said.

“If you’re a grazier that means you’ve got to give up your guns, and life insurances are affected.

“We know blokes particularly – it’s hard to get them to see a doctor even if their leg’s hanging off – for mental health it’s a real struggle to get people to see professionals. Having funding that’s linked to the necessity to have a mental health plan is a real disincentive to people seeking help.”

As well as the obstacle the requirement was placing on people requiring treatment, Mr Whip was concerned that it was affecting usage statistics and giving governments a false picture of the need, which could impact future funding decisions.

“Outback Futures doesn’t have that requirement – we’re all funded by private donors – so when we go to say, Blackall, we had 90 people come to us.

“You go and talk to whoever has got that mental health plan restriction, they might see two or three.

“The government is getting this data and going, we don’t really need that, there’s only two or three people accessing the service, there mustn’t be a real problem.

“They put in millions to run these services but have set it up in such a way that no-one really accesses it.”

Mr Whip’s comments were confirmed by mental health clinician, Tim Driscoll, who is with the RFDS Drought Wellbeing Service at Longreach.

“I’ve only been in the central west since February but it’s certainly an issue that’s been brought up, by both clinicians and the public,” he said.

”We’ve seen a reduction in the service utilisation in Longreach, quite clearly, as a result of extra restrictions on accessing.

“The more steps between needing support and getting support – any barrier is potentially damaging.”

Mr Driscoll emphasised that he wasn’t advocating for removing the need to see a GP from the program.

He said there was sound reasoning behind having a GP at the centre of writing a mental health plan, saying “that’s not a bad model to have”.

Mr Whip asked if there was anything the Northern Resources and Agriculture Ministers could do to alleviate that barrier.

Mr Canavan responded that he hadn’t heard that specific problem but gave a commitment to follow it up and “come back to you on exactly what those plans require and whether they can be more flexible”.

He was not as accommodating of Mr Whip’s request to change from a short term funding approach to mental health services in rural Australia.

Mr Whip told the forum the many mental health groups accumulated after extended years of drought suffered from only being able to keep professionals on the ground for six months at a time because program funding cut out.

Mr Canavan said the funding, particularly for rural financial counsellors, was temporary because everyone hoped the drought would not be permanent.

“We ended up with a drought that went a lot longer than we all thought so the funding has had to be renewed at different times,” he said. “I don’t know if we can work around that completely.”

Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, described it as a cookie cutter approach that he said wasn’t working.

“We get it wrong.

“Matt and I have got to stand up to the Health Minister and say, you can’t have a cookie cutter approach because if we lose the human capital, we lose the resource and we lose the trust that you people have built up.”

Article written by Sally Cripps for Queensland Country Life. Link to original article: https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/5437256/is-red-tape-stopping-people-from-seeking-help

Queensland’s Banana Shire Council introduces $10 feral cat bounty

FERAL cats are now a hunted species after Banana Shire introduced a bounty on the pest.

The council will pay $10 for an adult cat’s scalp and $5 for a kitten.

The bounty is designed to stop the growing population of feral cats in rural areas of the central Queensland shire, where they are having a devastating effect on the native bird and mammal populations, The Morning Bulletin reports.

The council has allocated $25,000 in its Land Protection budget to cover the cost of the bounty and will continue the program until this funding is exhausted.

Environment and planning manager Chris Welch said a similar program recently introduced in the McKinlay Shire had a significant impact on the feral cat population.

“An increase in feral cat numbers has been observed, particularly though the rural areas of the shire, and council has received information from the Upper Dawson branch of the Queensland Wildlife Preservation Society raising the issue of impacts from feral and uncontrolled cats,” he said.

Mr Welch said the bounty would be restricted to feral animals destroyed on rural properties.

He said a property owner didn’t need to be the party destroying the animal and requesting payment, but must sign the payment request form giving a hunter permission to be on their property.

A recent study carried out by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub of the National Environmental Science Program found feral cats kill 316 million birds every year, while pet cats kill 61 million birds.

Lead researcher Professor John Woinarski said everybody knew cats killed birds, but this study showed the amount of predation was staggering at a national level.

“We found that the birds most likely to be killed by cats are medium-sized birds; birds that nest and feed on the ground, and birds that occur on islands or in woodlands, grassland and shrub lands,” he said.

“For Australian birds, cats are a longstanding, broadscale and deeply entrenched problem that needs to be tackled more effectively.

“Our knowledge of the impacts of cats on threatened mammals was a major stimulus for our first-ever national Threatened Species Strategy, which prioritised actions to control feral cats.”

Article written by Cameron McCrohon for the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin. Published 13/10/17 at 1:14pm.

Shooters dispute science behind magpie geese bag limits, reduced season

Northern Territory magpie goose hunters have rallied at a Darwin firing range to protest against reduced bag limits and a shorter season, a decision they say is taking an unfair aim at hunters.

NT Field and Game spokesman Bart Irwin told the crowd hunting was not the problem and the science behind the decision should be questioned.

“The Government continues to say that the population is on the decline,” Mr Irwin said.

“In actual fact, the magpie geese have just dispersed, across to Queensland, Western Australia, down into New South Wales and even as far as Victoria.

“They don’t all belong to the Territory. They’re Australia’s geese and they’ll go where they want, when they want.”

Geese down by almost half, Government says

The NT Government this year reduced magpie goose bag limits and the length of the 2017 hunting season after an NT Environment Department aerial survey revealed a significant decline in numbers.

The season begins on October 27 and lasts for eight weeks — a month shorter than last year’s season — and the daily bag limit for magpie geese has been reduced from seven to three.

The Environment Department’s survey found a 45 per cent decrease from 2016 to about 725,000 magpie geese, which the department said was part of a downward trend since 2014.

Magpie goose numbers have struggled to recover from consecutive “poor” wet seasons, according to the department’s report.

But Mr Irwin said he was present during the aerial survey and he did not understand the result.

“I saw three times as many geese as I saw in the same survey last year — how the figures have turned out like this, I don’t know what formula they’re applying,” he said.

“The Government and the Department have said themselves that hunting did not cause this, yet hunters are being used as the only means for it to recover.

“The Government and the Department they don’t care about geese like we do.

“We’re the only people who, when we see a goose we really look at it and say thank God it’s there, because we want to hunt it one day.”

Recreational magpie goose hunter David Barnes said he would not bother going out this season for three geese a day.

“If you could just go out each year and get your five a day. I think everybody would be happy with that.”

“Personally, I probably won’t go out this year. I’m not going out for three.”

‘Focus should be on restoring habitat’

According to Mr Irwin, if there is a problem with magpie goose numbers, the focus should be on restoring habitat for the geese.

“Habitat is what the birds rely on, if the swamps and the breeding areas are weed free they will have room to breed and food to eat,” he said.

Hunter Karen Glazbrook said her 12-year-old daughter Erica had been given her first rifle this year and would be hunting with the family.

“It’s part of the Territory lifestyle,” Ms Glazbrook said.

“It’s a great family event with the kids. We go out on a Friday night, have dinner in the bushland.

“We love geese, it’s a really nice meat.”

Article was written by Felicity James for www.Abc.net.au Posted online 15/10/17 at 3.20pm

Rob Katter is alarmed at news emerging of changes to the National Firearms Agreement

A recent assertion by Police Minister Mark Ryan that the Palaszczuk government was firmly committed to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) developed by John Howard after the Port Arthur tragedy 21 years ago, has been challenged by Mount Isa MP Rob Katter.

Queensland Katter’s Australia Party leader, Mr Katter said neither that statement nor the comment made by the Minister when asked to share Labor’s firearms policy, that his government’s policy was based on the current Weapons Act, accurately reflect the government’s agreement to changes made to the national agreement late in 2016.

Mr Katter said these impose a number of new and significant restrictions on licenced shooters.

“The minister indicated he remained committed to the NFA implemented by John Howard, but this would seem to contradict the government’s position, which is to significantly increase restrictions on licenced shooters.

“The minister’s comments show the government’s stealth attack on law-abiding firearm owners.”

He said because there had been a lack of consultation before signing the new NFA, details on what had been agreed to were only now emerging.

Changes would ban some types of weapons that are currently legal, limit the amount of ammunition a licenced shooter can purchase – which would include professional shooters competing at the upcoming Commonwealth Games – and make it more difficult for all licenced shooters to purchase weapons.

“The KAP will be fighting any changes that hurt licenced shooters, including blocking any legislation or regulations that are brought into Parliament by the government,” he said.

AgForce firearms spokesman Graham Park said the new agreement was very badly written.

Changes to the way ammunition is transported, so that it is in a separate truck to firearms, not just packed separately as is the case now, would greatly increase the cost, he said.

“The price is going to increase by 40 or 50 per cent if you do that, and it will just kill feral animal control.”

Another modification bans minors’ licences, which Mr Park said was likely to increase injury or death among young rural people.

“It will stop instruction in firearm safety training to young people who are exposed to firearms daily through their parents’ occupation,” he said.

Mr Katter said it was only just becoming clear how extensive the changes were, and how much they could impact licenced shooters.

“I’m concerned that licensing processes will become even less efficient, and it will make it incredibly difficult for professional shooters to maintain their livelihood or remain competitive in their sport.”

The story Katter slams firearms ‘stealth attack’ first appeared on North Queensland Register.

Article written by Sally Cripps for Queensland Country Life. Article appeared 19/4/17 at 8.45pm.