Queensland Government Shift the Goal Posts After Losing Suppressor Hearing

A recent Shooters Union of Australia media release shows the lengths that a Government will go to ensure that a suppressor remains as restricted as a machine gun or rocket launcher.

THE Queensland Government is coming under pressure from furious primary producers and shooters over allegations they ‘moved the goalposts’ to nullify a legal case result whichhad ruled against them.

Queensland farmer James Ryder requires a firearm suppressor to mitigate hearing loss from controlling feral pests on his farm, and applied to the police Weapons LicensingBranch (WLB) for an exemption to own one.

His application was denied due to suppressors being categorised in the same category as machine-gunsand rocket-launchers under current law, but he was advised in writing that he couldappeal the matter to the Queensland Civil Administration Tribunal (QCAT), which he did.

QCAT not only ruled in Mr Ryder’s favour, it questioned the restrictions on suppressors andsuggested they be removed from the restricted category.

The police appealed the ruling, claiming QCAT did not have jurisdiction to hear the case and QCAT agreed with them, essentially nullifying its earlier ruling.

The decision has caused outrage among primary producers and shooters alike, with MrRyder accusing the state Government

of moving the goalposts because they didn’t get theoutcome they expected.

“I have followed all the correct procedures, including the police service’s own advice, andthey’ve decided to change the rules because they don’t like how it’s turned out for them,” he said.

“It’s completely unacceptable and I will be taking this legal fight further.”Mr Ryder said he honestly did not see why there was such a fuss over suppressors, either.

“If I was 150km south across the border in NSW, I could easily apply for – and get – asuppressor permit for use on my farm, yet in Queensland they are lumped in with machineguns, bazookas and land mines,” he said.

“Hearing loss is not a particularly pleasant thing to experience ,especially when there is asimple fix available that satisfies both Worksafe noise guidelines and biosecurityobligations for farmers at no risk (sic) to the community.

“Noise induced hearing loss is a major issue amongst farmers, farm workers and recreational shooters. Suppressor are a safe effective engineering control measure thatfollows the hierarchy of control guidelines required under Queensland Work Safe laws.”

His continuing fight to legalise a vital piece of safety equipment is not over and has thesupport, backing and assistance of the state’s pre-eminent pro-gun organisation, ShootersUnion Australia, with president Graham Park describing the suppressor ban as ridiculousand harmful.

“We firmly believe that farmers, primary producers and hunters should be able to legally own suppressors for their firearms,” he said.

“It’s common knowledge the ban on suppressors exists because of how they’re portrayed inmovies and video games. People have no idea how they actually work in real life.

“They do not completely silence the shot – it is still quite loud – but what they do is bringthe noise level down to a safer level to mitigate hearing loss.”

Mr Park said Shooters Union had established a legal fighting fund to help Mr Ryder appealhis case further and get the vital equipment legalised in Queensland.

“We’re not all going to suddenly turn into John Wick because we can put a soundsuppressor on a hunting rifle,” Mr Park said.
“NSW issues suppressor permits and they haven’t had any problems, they’re freely available in New Zealand without issues – so why is Queensland dragging their heels on this?

“Even if you don’t like guns, the implications of the Government shifting the goals to getresults it wants are extremely worrying and should concern all Australians.

“It’s just not on, and we should all be taking a stand against it.”


James Ryder: ryderbrosvatua@gmail.com or 0447 987 700
President Graham Park: president@shootersunion.com.au or 0418 700 320
Media Director Royce Wilson: media@shootersunion.com.au or 0410 645 035




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