October, 2017 – The LNP tonight backed Jackie Trad’s stricter Queensland gun control laws, with both parties displaying their willingness to work together to successfully attack the rights of law-abiding firearm owners.
The major party duopoly voted down a KAP Disallowance motion, ensuring more irrational changes will be made to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).
KAP members Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth commended LNP Member for Gympie, Tony Perrett for crossing the floor to vote for KAP’s disallowance motion and for putting his constituents before his party.
After a debate characterised by mudslinging and misdirection the LNP sided with the Government to vote down the KAP motion moved by Robbie Katter resulting in Queensland now having gun laws which go far beyond those put in place by John Howard.
When debating the motion, Robbie urged all members of the house to look past the fear and emotion of the issue to ensure our laws are based on evidence and fairness.
“The changes to the NFA have absolutely no empirical or practical justification.
“Unfortunately these laws only punish people who do the right thing while doing nothing to address community safety,’’ Robbie said.
Member of Dalrymple Shane Knuth said if the State Government was serious about community safety it would look at measures which crackdown on gun crime, including a permanent amnesty, real time licence verification and better mail and customs screening to stop illegal weapons entering the country.
“The aim of the KAP disallowance motion was to remove the additional regulations imposed by Labor, resulting in tougher gun control laws,’’ Mr Knuth said.
“The LNP had the chance to block these tougher gun controls but chose to support Labor, even though they had been telling constituents they would champion law-abiding gun owners.’’
The LNP attempted to shift the blame to the State Government and the KAP for their decision to support the irrational NFA changes, however it was clear to all observers this was a weak attempt to move the focus away from their attack on law-abiding gun owners and the division within their own party.
“We will always support measures that make the community safer however, good policy needs to be based on evidence and not emotion,’’ Mr Knuth said.
Leader of the Opposition, Tim Nicholls quoted support for John Howard’s gun laws as the rationale. However, the new regulations significantly strengthen John Howard’s laws and they have been made without sufficient consultation with shooters.
The major aspects of the regulations which strengthen John Howard’s laws include:
– A reclassification of lever action shotguns to Category D, which is the same category as AK-47s and AR-15s, while pump action shotguns with the same capacity are classified in Category C.
– Serious questions around changes to the definition of lawful modification which could have the effect of making any type of weapon that has been modified by a licence shooter illegal. This has potential to make hundreds of thousands weapons illegal.
– If weapons are now deemed illegal they need to be handed back. With no compensation scheme in place this is perhaps the biggest injustice in the new laws.
Robbie Katter talks about a number of changes that could be brought in to improve community safety.
“There are a number of things that could be done to improve community safety including a permanent amnesty, a real time licence verification system, better screening of packages coming in from overseas and redirecting resources from persecution of law abiding shooters to fighting gun crime.
“According to a report by the auditor general, Customs only screens 25% of consignments, whereas previously all international mail coming into Australia was scanned. That equates to just 46 million scans, resulting in 67,123 prohibited items being seized. On those calculations, a further 201,369 prohibited items were let into the country,” Robbie said.
THE LNP and the ALP have once again teamed up to defeat a common sense measure put forward by the Katter’s Australia Party; this time in relation to primary producers who need to use handguns for their work. The Motion, which called for the parliament to support the rights of Primary Producers to own handguns, was voted down by the Government and LNP.
“The Government has continued its attack on regional Queensland and the LNP has supported them. These city based politicians really have no understanding of what life is like west of Ipswich”, Mount Isa MP Robbie Katter said.
“Currently Weapons Licencing are rejecting applications and renewals by primary producers who have legitimate reasons to own a handgun. This attitude does nothing to reduce risks to the public. A farmer can still own a handgun to shoot at the pistol club in town but they can’t own one to use for their business. It makes no sense.”
“Let’s be clear here – you still need a licence to apply for category H. The claims from the LNP that everyone would have access are ridiculous as there is a fit and proper person test to gain a licence in the first place”. Robbie said.
“Firearms on properties are a specialised tool. Like most specialised tools, it’s not every day you need to use them. They are vitally important to rural family’s safety, especially if you’re miles away from the house or being bailed up by a pack of wild dogs as happened to Ms. Katie Casey on her property near Hughenden recently.
“In recent months there has been numerous calls to my office from concerned property owners who are being told they will not have their Category H Firearms licenses renewed. I know other members of the House with rural electorates have received similar calls and it’s a disgrace they wouldn’t support the motion.” Robbie said.
Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said the LNP will always back their city voters over regional Queenslanders.
“The LNP talk up their support for farmers but when they’re forced to choose between their city voters and regional voters, they pick the city voters every time”. Mr Knuth said.
“The types of people who are getting rejected for licences are often Primary Producers, many of whom have held a pistol license for many years. They have satisfied the rules in the past but clearly something has changed, despite the government assuring us they have made no policy change. This is why an as of right clause is required.”
“The major parties have shown they couldn’t care less about rural Queenslanders and have once again betrayed the bush. This is nothing less than gun control by stealth. These measures do nothing to reduce the incidence of illegal firearms in our community and reduce violent criminals. These measures only serve to punish legitimate pistol owners in rural areas.” Mr Knuth said.