Nick Dametto MP
Queensland MP Nick Dametto believes poor state data will lead to the failure of the national firearms registry

Queensland MP says federal gun registry will fail with inaccurate state data

The proposed National Firearms Register is going to be fundamentally flawed to the point of uselessness unless Queensland sorts out the mess in its state Weapons Licensing Branch, according to Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) deputy leader Nick Dametto.

Mr Dametto is the MP for Hinchinbrook in Queensland and, along with shooting organisations including Shooters Union, has been openly critical of the planned National Firearms Register, saying it will cost millions of dollars in taxpayer funds while doing little, if anything, to improve public safety.

“There would be merit in a national firearm register if it was supported by the most up-to-date and accurate data but the system will only be as effective as the information the authorities plug into it,” he said.

“Currently, Queensland is set to let the team down when it comes to timely and accurate data collection.

“Queensland’s Weapons Licensing Branch has been outdated and flawed for years and the Police Minister continuously guises those failures as the result of careful police measures being taken in the interest of community safety.”

Application times for licences and Permits To Acquire have blown out spectacularly in Queensland in recent years, going from approximately three months for a licence and around a week for PTAs to (at time of writing) more than six months for a licence and up to 34 days for a PTA.

Weapons Licensing Branch has hired another 40 staff and legislative changes have been made to allow civilian staff to act as authorised officers for approving licences and PTAs, but the backlog remains significant and gun dealers in the Sunshine State are hurting significantly as a result.

A number of dealers have confirmed they have run out of storage space and are unable to make new sales until customers receive PTAs and can collect their guns.

Others have said they are seriously considering closing down, as they cannot afford the economic hit from the loss of trade caused by delays.

In addition to the licence and PTA processing times, it is well known among Queensland shooters that the state firearms register is hopelessly inaccurate and out of date, recording incorrect information on firearms, or not recording legally made transfers (or taking months to do it). 

“The Weapons Licensing Branch has proven time and time again that it is incapable of not only processing timely applications and compiling up-to-date data, but now it has also shown the branch is unable to accurately maintain records,” Mr Dametto said.

“I can’t see how incorrect information from Queensland’s Weapons Licensing branch, replicated in the form of a national firearm register, will prevent any future tragedies from occurring.”




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Royce Wilson

Royce is something rare in Australia: A journalist who really likes guns. He has been interested in firearms as long as he can remember, and is particularly interested in military and police firearms from the 19th Century to the present. In addition to historical and collectible firearms, he is also a keen video gamer and has written for several major newspapers and websites on that subject.

One Comment

  1. Do you really trust sharing your data with states like WA? They posted a detailed road map with firearm owners’ houses marked on the front page of the local rag (22/3/22). Took all of 10 minutes to match it up with google maps. If it’s a choice between your privacy and their agenda, guess who comes last!