Community safety is being compromised as political elites and ideologues continue their war on licensed firearm owners, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has told the Queensland Parliament.
Mr Katter said he and his fellow KAP colleague’s offices had received an unprecedented number of complaints and pleas for assistance from the public following changes made the definition of “Fit and Proper Person” in December.
The new criteria, spawn out of the Queensland Audit Office’s review into the regulation of firearms in the state, now places greater scrutiny on an applicant’s traffic history, health status and ability to successfully participate in bureaucratic processes.
This includes broad and ambiguous questioning that can result in a rejected license if an applicant makes a mistake or accidentally omits personal information.
Mr Katter said while the Weapon’s Licencing Branch was part of the Queensland Police Service, it was the Labor State Government who had to take responsibility for the system.
He said their political obsession with punishing those with a genuine need for a gun was risking community safety.
“I would challenge anyone to name a group that is more discriminated against than licensed firearm owners, and these laws are not doing anything,” he said.
“After looking at the evidence, the only thing being achieved by all this effort from the Government is people like me and farmers are writing more letters regarding the constraints around us.
“We are not the problem; it is the illegal gun owners that the Government should be focusing on.”
Mr Katter said the decision-makers, including politicians and uniformed police from the Weapon’s Licencing Branch, were too far removed from the day-to-day reality of most licensed gun-users.
“These decisions are being made from an office from Brisbane but they have very real consequences for the people on the ground – there are people who need to use these things as tools,” he said.
“In most cases those deciding on applications do not even have a weapon’s licence, so outside of being a uniformed police officer they do not have any real-life experience with how this all operates in practice.
“The focus should always be on community safety, but this needs to be in terms of the evidence of where firearms are genuinely needed”.
The Traeger MP said the goal posts for weapon’s licence applicants were constantly being changed and were now essentially limitless.
“It used to be that five years was the limit where a person applying had to reveal anything on their record; now it is indefinite,” he said.
“A traffic offence from 20 years ago is now relevant and is counting against people.
“For those people who were getting their firearms licence, it is now either held up or they are just not getting it – all this thanks to a 20-year-old traffic offence that never counted before.
“It’s mischievous because the authorities already have all of that information, but they force people applying into admitting it.
“If they forget or make a mistake, they can be forced into a corner that results in the immediate rejection of their application through no genuine fault of their own.”
Mr Katter said while the current situation for licensed weapon-holders was dire, he’d had some preliminary and positive discussions with the State Government.
He said from these talks, there’d been an indication the Government was prepared to take action to restore some common sense to the system.
by staff writers
Police have had enough. Youthful black criminals some as young as 13 are stealing late model cars from homes in Cairns at the rate of five a week.
The latest victim had his hire car, a Mitsibushi ASX, as well as his wallet and credit cards stolen from a relative’s Bentley Park residence.
The four teenagers in the stolen ASX then pulled up alongside a marked police car at Aeroglen, where officers were attending an accident. A stolen Nissan Micra had crashed into a police car after police deployed a tyre deflator. Four youths aged between 16 and 18 were detained by the dog squad.
The teenagers in the ASX openly taunted the officers, knowing they were unable to take any action, due to the Police Department’s no-pursuit policy.
The four youths, aged between 13 and 16, reportedly from the nearby coastal Aboriginal settlement of Yarrabah, soon after rolled and crashed the Mitsubishi hire car in Yarrabah.
They remain in hospital under police guard.
The day before black juvenile offenders, stole a luxury Lexus sedan and crashed it at Earlville after its 15 year old driver taunted police officers.
The hapless tourist who hired the ASX, Shane McCauley, of Toowoomba, now faces an insurance excess charge of $4000 because the car was written off.
He said the black youths had turned his happy family vacation into a nightmare.
“The financial burden it has put on us. We came up here on holidays and it has turned out to be a nightmare,” Mr McCauley told the Cairns Post.
“It wouldn’t bother me not to come back to North Queensland again.
“What a shit hole to put it bluntly.
“If I had a hammer I’d break their kneecaps.
“It would have been nice if the cops rang me. I haven’t got a no-pursuit policy.
“The magistrates really need to crack down on this.”
Cairns News in the past has reported several extremely contentious issues with Police Union president Ian Leavers, but at last he has come out in support of completely disillusioned Cairns police officers who have been doing their best to clean up the substantial element of indigenous offenders which have been giving law-abiding Aborigines a bad name.
Mr Leavers received a lot of public support for coming out to can fixed speed cameras which he said were doing nothing towards the road toll and were merely “revenue raisers.”
He also ridiculed the department’s no-pursuit policy.
Cairns News fully supports Mr Leavers on these vital issues but could never share his opinion that only police officers should be allowed to own guns.
from Robert J Lee in Brisbane
The controversial Member for Cook, Billy Gordon, dumped from the ALP after he revealed his historical criminal convictions, has retained his plum position after police dropped their investigations into sexting allegations made by two Far North women.
In October police issued a statement claiming there was insufficient evidence to lay charges against Mr Gordon, an Aborigine, for sending the women images of his penis.
Mr Gordon sent a text message of his penis to another Cairns woman, Christine Gibson, 50, who told him she would take it to the media unless he paid her $10,000.
Cairns News received information claiming there had been political interference with the investigation into the two other women’s allegations, causing the cases to be dropped.
Disgraced Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller last week resigned from Cabinet after the Opposition accused her of “behaviour unbecoming of a Minister”, although no explicit mention was made of Mr Gordon’s sexting allegations.
The State Labor Government hangs tenuously on now independent Billy Gordon’s vote. Should Mr Gordon be charged with an offence that carries a sentence of more than one year’s jail, he will have to quit his position.
And gone will be the ALP government.