Nick Dametto MP
KAP's Nick Dametto MP asked the Police Minister how long WLB acted on licensing issues involving public safety, in light of serious delays in processing regular applications

Queensland permit delays are derailing firearms amnesty

Queensland’s firearms amnesty is being derailed by the glacial pace at which the state’s Weapons Licensing Branch is processing permits to acquire (PTAs).

PTAs are now regularly taking more than a month to process, up from a few days last year, and dealers across the state are battling with full storerooms and no room for surrendered firearms — especially smaller dealers, who can be legally limited in the number of firearms they can have on the books.

Some dealers in the Sunshine State are now reportedly being forced to turn away people wanting to surrender or licence unregistered firearms as they simply do not have any room for them and cannot store the guns for the month or longer it will take to get a PTA.

Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) executive officer James Walsh said the situation was creating a public safety risk, as unregistered firearms were walking back out the door, defeating the entire purpose of the National Firearms Amnesty.

“As dealers don’t have room left to securely store firearms, they have no choice but to turn away those looking to surrender firearms as part of the National Amnesty,” Mr Walsh said. 

“This is disastrous for the National Firearms Amnesty initiative, as due to the inefficiencies at WLB, the Queensland police minister is undermining the efficacy of the entire initiative. 

“This will have lasting effects on Queensland’s public safety as illegal, unregistered and unlicensed firearms will now remain in the community.”

Shooters Union president Graham Park said the situation was just as bad for unlicensed people who wanted to do the right thing and obtain a gun licence to keep a firearm that was currently unregistered.

“It now takes well over six months to get a Category A&B firearms licence thanks to WLB’s outrageous delays, which is off-putting enough for people wanting to get a licence in the first place,” he said.

“Dealers who are already hurting from the loss of trade from having hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock gathering dust simply cannot store someone’s grandad’s old shotgun for over six months while the licence application makes its way through WLB’s system.

“Even if the person surrenders the gun or sells it on consignment, it’s still going to be taking up storage space for months because whoever buys it will still need a PTA.”

Repeated demands by the shooting industry in Queensland to fix the delays, as well as a question in Parliament from Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto about the WLB delays issue, have failed to bring about a practical solution.

Pressure continues to mount on the Palaszczuk government to fix the situation.

Yesterday in Parliament House, a series of meetings were held involving Police Minister Mark Ryan, Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett, KAP MPs Robbie Katter and Nick Dametto, Queensland Firearm Dealers Association president Jade Cleaver and Shooters Union president Graham Park.

We now have an update based on the outcome of these meetings.




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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.