KAP warns of significant changes to weapons licensing legislation that stand to have far reaching and detrimental consequences to the shooting community and beyond – www.cairnsnews.org

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This “devious” Labor Police Minister and solicitor has not fooled anyone by disguising draconian, dangerous changes to the Weapons Act as “community safety”

Shooting industry groups, their members and the broader Queensland community have raised serious concerns about the proposed changes to weapons licensing laws contained within a recently introduced Labor Government bill.

The Queensland Community Safety Bill 20241, introduced on May 1, 2024 by Police Minster Mark Ryan, seeks to introduce a range of changes to youth justice legislation but also embedded in the bill, are significant changes to weapons licensing legislation that stands to have far reaching and detrimental consequences to the shooting community and beyond.

An avid hunter, Nick Dametto says
Labor’s devious attempt to disguise
wide ranging changes to gun laws is
another assault on law abiding gun
owners and the wider public

Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto has condemned the bill and described it as a devious attempt by Labor to try and sneak in gun law changes to the parliament under the disguise of a ‘community safety’ bill.

“What was first promoted as a bill that would make some positive changes to youth crime, such as the removal of detention as a last resort, was very quickly discovered to be just another assault on the rights of those law-abiding firearm owners in our community,” Mr Dametto said.

“I’m just as outraged about the contents of the bill as I am about the egregious lack of time afforded for public consultation and feedback.

“Industry representatives and stakeholders such as Shooters Union were given minimal consultation in the lead up to the bill and that didn’t even cover the entirety of changes that were going to be proposed. It was misleading to say the least and affront to the parliamentary process.

“Among the troubling provisions of the bill is the introduction of a firearms prohibition order scheme, a verification process for purchasing small arms ammunition, and reforms to the ‘Fit and Proper Person’ test. These changes, if implemented, would have far-reaching consequences for Queenslanders.

“What the Labor government is not explaining, is how if these changes were already in place, would they have worked to prevent any of Queensland’s most recent firearm tragedies? They aren’t going to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands of bad people or those with extremist views.”

Owner of Pagan Firearms in Townsville, Mr Anthony Pagan said that the proposed bill would not only affect his business and the firearm industry it was also everyday Queenslander’s that stand to be affected by the draconian changes.

“We see this legislation as targeted towards licensed firearm owners and reducing the number of LEGAL firearms in the community and attacking the dealers,” Mr Pagan said.

“It contains nothing about reducing the number of illegal firearms out in the community.

“We are very worried about what this legislation is proposing, and the general public should certainly take the time to read it because it impacts on others aside from just licensed firearm holders.” Mr Dametto said he had recently called on the Police Minister and the Community Safety and Legal Affairs Committee to extend the submission period for the bill by six (6) weeks.

“It was no surprise to learn that the committee Chairman responded with lighting speed to say that the submission and reporting dates would remain the same, and no extension would be granted,” he said.

“The Committee is bound by the reporting times set by the House, to stop this disastrous outcome for Queenslanders the Minister must revoke all provisions within the bill that may negatively affect licensed firearm owners and the wider community, with the intention to commence genuine consultation with all stakeholders involved at a later date.

“There is more at stake here than appeasing anti-gun campaigners. They aren’t the only ones out there who vote or matter. This ill-conceived bill contains real consequences for good Queenslanders.”

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