Wedgetail applicant dismissed

An applicant for a Wedgetail pistol was recently knocked-back by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Unfortunately, the application was dismissed on procedural grounds, so the Tribunal never got around to the issue of the correct categorisation of the Wedgetial WT-01 pistol. There are two lessons we can take from the case.

Lesson 1: Federal cooperation to ban your guns

A number of sporting shooters had obtained permits from Queensland Weapons Licensing and acquired these as Category H (short) firearms for use at a range. Subsequently, and with intervention from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Weapons Licensing changed their mind. Click here for the full history.

The first lesson is that the Feds and State registries are keen to work together to ban your guns one by one. If you think they aren’t looking for angles, you’re kidding yourself. (See other examples here and here.)

Lesson 2: Weapons Licensing representations to QCAT

The second lesson is that Weapons Licensing will say almost anything in QCAT proceedings – even if it is obviously misleading. Consider this picture of the Wedgetail WT-01 pistol offered in written submissions by Weapons Licensing branch in another Wedgetail dispute.

The second firearm has a stock. It is not even a real picture of the Wedgetail WT-01 pistol!  And we know for a fact Weapons Licensing has real photos on file without stocks.

In the dismissed case, Weapons Licensing also submitted that the applicant’s application was an abuse of process. Here’s what tribunal member Jim Allen had to say about their submission:

The QPS WLB submitted that […] Mr Patty’s application has been brought for an improper purpose and referencing the relevant case law and legislation, constitutes an abuse of process. […]

The Tribunal is sympathetic to Mr Patty’s frustrations in regard to how the Subject Firearm should be classified and the lack of clarity around that categorisation. […]

While the submissions of the QPS WLB were that the application was an abuse of process I consider that Mr Patty has given much thought to his application and has been frustrated because he has seen that others have been able to receive permits to acquire similar weapons. […]

We have seen similar dubious submissions by Weapons Licensing in other cases.

Conclusion: clean-up of Weapons Licensing necessary

Weapons Licensing have sowed confusion by issuing permits and then trying to ban the Wedgetail WT-01 pistol. That mistake has been further compounded by the conduct of Weapons Licensing in reviews at QCAT. We have seen examples across half a dozen QCAT reviews that are either dubious or flat out improper.

Weapons Licensing performance in so many areas – whether its answering the phone or managing disputes – is appalling. It should be the subject of serious reform.