Shooters Union says it has uncovered a secret Queensland Government plan to make wholesale negative changes to the state’s firearms laws, and is now fighting back as it demands a fair go for gun owners in the state.
Shooters Union Australia president Graham Park said the organisation had been reliably informed there was a plan, coming from the Queensland Premier’s Office, to implement new restrictions on gun owners as part of an effort to shore up slipping poll numbers ahead of the next election.
“Because of the incredible level of secrecy around this, we simply don’t know the detail on things for sure, but you can expect — based on some other states and what they’re doing — things like calibre limits, vastly increased security standards which are completely impossible for any renter and many homeowners to meet, and increased restrictions on who is considered a fit and proper person to have a gun licence,” he said.
“We will likely see people being prevented from getting a gun licence because they have a couple of speeding tickets on their record, or a DUI from 20 years ago or something ludicrously irrelevant like that.”
Mr Park said the gun law restrictions were not a “tin-foil hat” conspiracy theory, and the information about the plan had come from reliable sources.
“I can assure you, we’ve been told this directly by government employees involved in it,” he said.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact several large firearms organisations joined Shooters Union in April in writing a co-signed letter to Police Minister Mark Ryan in April, asking him to either deny the rumoured changes or get the groups on board so shooters and industry would be properly represented and consulted.
Mr Ryan did not respond to that letter, nor to another one that was sent in May, according to Mr Park.
As a result, Shooters Union has officially launched a campaign, featuring a call to action video, calling on every single one of its members to contact their local MP and tell them that licensed shooters are sick and tired of being given short shrift and used as a convenient scapegoat every time the government’s poll figures slide.
“We are telling every single one of our members to contact their local MP, regardless of which party they’re from, and tell them exactly how unhappy they are with the way the ALP Government treats them, and demand an immediate end to these ever-increasing restrictions and punishing of law-abiding firearms users,” Mr Park said.
“Even if that MP doesn’t like guns or doesn’t care about law-abiding firearm users, they do like being in parliament and they’d like to be re-elected.
“If they feel that their votes are going to be hurt, trust me, they will be saying ‘Hey, Premier, this might cost me votes’.”
Mr Park said it was important for shooters to get involved and get behind the campaign, because politicians needed to understand that planning secret changes to laws, without consulting or listening to the people who would be directly affected by them, was simply unacceptable
“We are sick and tired of legitimate shooters — who go through far more hurdles and security checks than any Member of Parliament does — being used as a political football,” he said.
“Request a meeting with your local member to discuss your concerns. If you haven’t got time to have an actual meeting, call their office and ask them to give a message to the Member and express your concerns.
“At the very, very least, send an email expressing your concerns directly to your local member. Their e-mail address is on the Parliament House website.”
The complete video from Shooters Union outlining the situation in Queensland can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/846088989.