Labor bungles firearm exemptions
A KEY firearms license held by many shooters working on rural properties has been left off the State Labor Government’s list of trading exemptions given to firearms dealers and armourers.
Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said his office had been inundated yet again with phone calls from rural property owners, leaseholders and those who work or undertake pest management on properties after the government failed to include the RE1 license held by most of them as part of the list of exemptions announced yesterday.
“Agriculture Minister Mark Furner made a big announcement in a press release yesterday about how the government was helping farmers and pest shooters with these exemptions, but because of a lack of consultation with industry we have seen this buggered up by Labor,” he said.
“The Code RE1 refers to a recreational license which gives the licensee authorisation to use registered Category A and B firearms for recreational shooting on rural land with the express consent of the owner of the land. This license is a popular option for both landowners and shooters with permission from the landowner to help control pests on the property.
“The fact it was omitted from the list of exemptions is problematic as most property owners hold this license. This needs to be rectified so licensed firearms dealers and armourers can continue to sell ammunition and firearms required to protect rural properties.”
Mr Dametto said landowners, lessees and shooters would be left powerless once more against feral pests without the inclusion of the RE1 license.
“Without this license being included, many landowners and feral pest controllers will still be unable to purchase firearms and ammunition required to do the thankless task of feral pest reduction,” he said.
“I urge the government to add the RE1 license to the list of eligible categories and as an additional protection, the holder of a RE1 license should require a written advice from a rural property owner or lease holder that stipulates a valid reason why they require access to products covered by the Weapons Act.
“This can be achieved by the stroke of a pen. In the name of common sense, let’s get this done.”