Gun friendly politicians and lobby
Left to right: Nick Dametto MP (KAP), Jade Cleaver (Queensland Firearms Dealers Association), Robbie Katter MP (KAP) and Graham Park (Shooters Union)

WLB promises to fix massive paperwork backlog

Queensland’s Weapons Licensing Branch has reportedly promised to act immediately to clear the backlog of licence and firearms applications that have caused months of frustration for shooters and a logistical nightmare for dealers.

WLB has apparently already appointed new staff and will double its operating hours in a concerted effort to get through the paperwork.

It comes after a concerted effort over several weeks by the shooting industry to pressure the government and police to take action.

Until now, the government had appeared unconcerned and had not responded to calls by the industry to fix the problem.

Sporting Shooter has not seen an official announcement about the new staffing levels and working hours but late this afternoon the Shooters Union of Australia and SIFA posted about the outcome of meetings held earlier in the day.

“Following some very productive meetings with Government and Industry representatives at Queensland Parliament House this week, we have some positive news to share,” the Shooters Union statement said.

“Firstly, in order to address the massive backlog of PTAs and licences, Weapons Licensing Branch has brought in 10 new Authorised Officers to speed up the approval/finalisation process.

“WLB will also, as of next week, be moving to operating two shifts per day, 7 days a week for the foreseeable future. That means there will be staff at WLB for 15 hours per day, every day of the week, processing PTAs, licences, and so on.

“We are advised the priority will be clearing the PTA backlog, then licence renewals, and then new licence applications.

“We also had a face-to-face meeting with the acting head of Weapons Licensing Branch, and they have vowed to dramatically improve communication with shooting organisations (including us) and industry associations (including the Firearm Dealers Association of Queensland and SIFA).”

SIFA also posted a statement, saying, “This is great progress on the current issues in Queensland around excessive delays at Weapons Licensing Branch processing permit and license applications.

“SIFA acknowledges the hard work of our partners and stakeholders with a special mention to the brilliant teams at Shooters Union of Australia and the Queensland Firearms Dealers Association.

“We also thank Mark Ryan MP for engaging with the Queensland shooting industry.

“SIFA will continue to monitor the situation and do what we can to expedite the remediation that is necessary to ensure that this NEVER happens again.

The Shooters Union also said, “It’s important for us to acknowledge the hard work and support of the Firearm Dealers Association of Queensland (FDAQ), SIFA – Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia, as well as the efforts of KAP MPs Nick Dametto MP and Robbie Katter MP, as well as the support of Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett – positive outcomes don’t happen in a vacuum.

“We’ve also got a special thank you for you, our members and supporters, who have kept the pressure on the government and made sure they fully understand the seriousness of the situation.

“Obviously the issues at WLB are far from sorted out, but this is a very positive first step and we’ll keep you updated on how it progresses from here.”




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.