The National Firearms Agreement 2017 is rolling out to crush you
Let’s alert farmers, shooters and regional folks who might not be aware just how swiftly Queensland Labor is moving in tandem with the Weapons Licensing Branch to take as much as they can grab off you. If Queensland Labor is handed a majority government this Saturday (25 Nov), thousands of law-abiding shooters are going to be turned into ‘paperwork criminals’ faster than you say National Firearms Agreement 2017. Let’s find out how in three steps.
Step #1: ‘Lawful modification’
Queensland Labor have reclassified lever-action shotguns with a capacity over 5 rounds as Category D. Weapons Licensing have put out this fact sheet (click here). They are warning you (emphasis in original):
Where a person can satisfy the authorised officer that the firearm was manufactured and purchased with, or lawfully modified to have, a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds, prior to the regulation notification date of 10th October 2017, the registration of the firearm will be updated and endorsements on the persons licence undertaken accordingly. (Evidence of a lawful modification would include an Armourers certificate).
If you bought a lever-action shotgun and installed the aftermarket modification to make it a ten-round magazine and you don’t have an armourer’s certificate, you’re going to get charged. They are absolutely busting to charge people with ‘unlawful modification’ offences. The regulatory drafting was cooked up between Queensland Labor and Weapons Licensing to try and make as many ‘paperwork criminals’ as possible. You might’ve bought a shotgun to deal with feral pigs on your farm, but Labor doesn’t care. Once they get a few convictions for unlawful modifications to lever-action shotgun magazine extensions, they will branch out to charging people for other ‘unlawful modifications’, which include detachable magazine kits and replacement stocks.
Step #2: Ammo limits
The Chief Inspector of Explosives (Department of Mines) has confirmed that ammo limits are being worked on for “consultation” after the Queensland election. “Consultation” is political speak for YOU’RE GOING TO COP IT IF LABOR GETS IN. Read the full article here.
Step #3: ‘Special need’ instead of genuine reason
The Inspector of Weapons Licensing Branch weighed into a Queensland election to explain Queensland Labor’s policy that farmers must have a ‘special need’ for firearms instead of the long-standing ‘genuine reason’. Inspector Guild said:
We need to ensure what they’re putting before us meets the standard we need in order to issue that licence — whether it’s necessary, to the type of property they’re farming on, to the special need they may have.
Just like ‘lawful modifications’ for magazine tube kits, ‘special need’ is the thin end of the wedge. It’s new bureaucratic speak to stop you having firearms you’ve got a genuine reason to own. Current genuine reasons include sports and target shooting, recreational shooting and occupational shooting (eg feral pests on a farm). Weapons Licensing is rapidly re-framing the language to force you to prove in great detail why you have a ‘special need’. Then when they refuse your explanation, they say ‘go to court’ to prove your case – a step very few people are prepared to take.