Attacking farmers by removing their tools of trade
One officer in the Queensland Police Service Weapons Licensing Branch proposed, some years ago, to cancel all pistol licenses for primary producers. Under documents obtained the Right To Information Act, we’ve even seen their phone script for the Branch staff to use to pressure farmers out of renewing their pistol licenses. These high-pressure tactics included the implied threat that if a farmer’s renewal was not withdrawn, they’d be subject to increased scrutiny in all future licensing matters.
This scheme to attack farmers became widely known by 2016. Since then, pest control groups, like the National Wild Dog Action Plan Implementation Committee (with Commonwealth, State and industry representatives) have come out and said pistols are useful in many primary production circumstances. Weapons Licensing Branch had to rethink their tactic. How do they justify attacking farmers now?
The National Firearms Agreement 2017 is the new weapon against farmers
Under documents released today under the Right To Information Act, we know Weapons Licensing Branch Police briefed the Minister on 23 November 2016. The warned the newly appointed Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan:
Queensland legislation has a number of variations to the 1996 NFA and would be non-compliant to the draft NFA, if adopted, in the following areas:
Category H concealable firearms would not be supported for primary production purposes.
Queensland Weapons Licensing Branch were actively trying to use the draft National Firearms Agreement as cover for their multi-year attack on farmers.
How big an issue is this?
Besides the farmers who were ‘talked out’ of renewing their applications, how many farmers and animal controllers were refused concealable firearms licenses? Data released by the Minister’s office in January 2017 tells us:
2016 – 56 [rejected]
2015 – 62 [rejected]
2014 – 44 [rejected]
2013 – 30 [rejected]
We suspect most farmers and pest controllers simply withdrew rather than accept a threatening rejection by the Weapons Licensing Branch. This suggests hundreds, maybe thousands, of farmers managing stock and a plague of feral pests have had legitimate tools of their trade taken off them by some anti-gun police warming their desk chairs in air-conditioned offices in Charlotte Street, Brisbane.
Write to your Queensland State MP and tell them: this is an unacceptable attack on our farmers.