Small businesses crushed after State bans firearm sales

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has slammed a decision by the State’s Chief Health Officer to shut down legitimate firearms dealers.

LEGITIMATE firearm dealers across Queensland are reeling after the State’s Chief Health Officer issued a directive to shut them down without any clear explanation.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto was outraged at the move, saying it would deprive property owners of the ability to purchase ammunition and new guns to stave off feral pests.

“This is an absolutely unnecessary and devastating decision by the Chief Health Officer at a time when our State’s economy has been shattered by coronavirus,” he said.

“We need to save as many jobs as we possibly can but for whatever reason, the State has seen these legitimate small businesses as expendable. It is utter madness.”

An email from the State’s Weapons Licensing Branch sent on Saturday afternoon to dealers says that the government “has issued a direction pursuant to the powers under s362B of the Public Health Act 2005 which lists non-essential businesses and directs same to cease operating”.

The email goes on to say that “the government has determined licensed armourers and licensed dealers, as defined under the Weapons Act 1990, to be a non-essential business” with no exceptions.

Mr Dametto said it was very concerning that the State Labor Government had granted the Chief Health Officer special emergency powers under the Public Health Act 2005 earlier this month to deal with the virus.

“I don’t believe it was necessary to shut down an already heavily regulated industry. This latest decision which will only curtail a farmer’s ability to manage their land at a time when agriculture is considered an essential service in this pandemic,” he said.

“A farmer needs to have access to ammunition to undertake some of the worst jobs a farmer may have to do on their property. How does the government expect a farmer to put a lay animal down without bullets from his rifle? An axe? A farmer deserves to have a humane option for putting down a beast.

“Once again, we see another disastrous decision made by the State Labor Government that may sit well in metropolitan areas but gives no consideration to the bush.”

Mr Dametto said he would write to Health Minister Steven Miles calling on him to reverse the Chief Health Officer’s decision as a matter of urgency.

“Katter’s Australian Party will always stand up for the rights of law-abiding firearms owners against an overzealous and out-of-touch bureaucracy,” he said.

Nick Dametto MP