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May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month

Domestic violence is an important community issue, affecting men and women across our state.
This month, to raise awareness for domestic violence prevention, we are presenting a two-part article to provide our members with more resources about domestic violence, including what services are available to support you and your family as well as information on your rights as a responsible firearms owner.
Shooters Union (Queensland) supports sensible firearms legislation covering licensing, use and storage and we are proud to be a community-minded organisation made up of every day members of the Queensland community.

We believe our members, and their families and friends, should be equipped with information on how to deal with violence and how they can help those close to them avoid, or heal from, violence in their lives.

What resources are available to you?

Violence does not discriminate – anyone can be a victim regardless of gender or age. Australian research has found 17 per cent of women and 5.3 per cent of men have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime.

Domestic violence is not ok. If you or someone you know is being affected, don’t be afraid to speak up and encourage them to seek help.

What to look out for:

• A person is criticised or put down publicly or in private
• You notice mood swings or bad tempers especially when drinking
• A person becomes withdrawn and begins to distance themselves
• Any uncharacteristic marks, bruises or cuts that can’t be explained.

If you suspect a close friend or relative is being abused, there are a number of hotlines you can call to seek advice.

• Lifeline – 13 11 14 – 24 hours, 7 days a week
• 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732 – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
• DVConnect Womensline – 1800 811 811 – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
• DVConnect Mensline – 1800 600 636 – 9am to midnight, 7 days a week.

To report immediate danger, please call 000.

Domestic violence and firearms – what you need to know

Do you know how a domestic violence order (DVO) can affect your firearms licence? We often get enquiries from our members around how a potential, existing or past DVO interacts with a firearms licence.

We have seen people consent to an application for a DVO because their relationship has come to an end, they have no intention of interacting with their former partner. It’s possible to agree to the DVO without agreeing with the facts, and the order will not be recorded as an admission of wrongdoing or criminal activity.

Whilst a DVO in itself is not recorded as a criminal offence, consenting to the order will affect your ability to own or use firearms for the period of the order and beyond.
It’s important that you seek legal advice before responding to the order to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Many of our members require a firearms licence to complete their jobs. If you are impacted in some way by a DVO it’s important that you know how this will affect your firearms licence and potentially your employment.

A typical order remains in force for up to two years but the process to have a firearms licence reinstated after this can take up to five – this can be potentially career-ending for many of our members.

For more information visit the Queensland Legal Aid website or contact Shooters Union (Queensland) via our contact us page.

Queensland Legal Aid fact sheet: “Someone has applied for a domestic violence protection order against me. What are my legal options?” Click here.

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