Smoking Gun: National Firearm Register hides Queensland Weapons Licensing Branch failures

28 April 2024

Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto, has labelled the State Labor Government’s advocacy for a wasteful $160 million national firearm register a political smoke screen, with the intention to draw attention away from the neglected Queensland’s Weapons Licensing system.

The push for a revamped national register promises ‘real-time’ and ‘across-border’ information sharing but has been labelled as nothing more than “virtue-signalling” by organisations like Shooters Union Australia.

Mr Dametto said Queenslanders were absolutely justified in their criticism of the proposal for two main reasons.

“Firstly, there should be no need for federal registration if communications were seamless across state jurisdictions. When’s the last time we saw it fit to have a national vehicle registration system?” he said.

“Secondly, any national register would essentially rely on accurate and up-to-date data provided by the states. The real crime is that Queensland’s archaic registration system has failed everybody. This has resulted in the Weapons Licensing Branch being heavily impaired from maintaining a proper weapon record.

“The state of Queensland’s Weapons Licensing Branch is deplorable and has been for years, the Minister knows this. The Minister for Police Mark Ryan needs to come clean on how the State supporting a national register is nothing more than wishful thinking that there may be a chance to take home a share in the $160 million to help tidy up their own back yard.

“This latest wasteful spill of the public purse has got nothing to do with community or police safety and everything to do with the Albanese Government seeking to gain votes on an emotive topic and a cash grab by the state to fix something they have neglected at the expense of public safety and licenced firearm owners for too long.

“The failure of Queensland’s Weapons Licensing system extends beyond processing times. Numerous inaccuracies exist and there have even been instances of firearms mysteriously disappearing from the register. All of which underscores the branch’s inability to maintain reliable data.

“The focus of the Labor State Government should be to get their own house in order and going after unregistered firearms. What occurred at Wieambilla, was a true tragedy for Queenslanders and our serving police officers but this latest sleight of hand and wasteful spending will do nothing to prevent an atrocity like this happening again.”


Nick Dametto MP