Gun law change a welcome move

ON TARGET: Kingaroy Clay Target Club President Gary Brown said Australia's current firearm laws encourage safe gun ownership.
ON TARGET: Kingaroy Clay Target Club President Gary Brown said Australia's current firearm laws encourage safe gun ownership. Jordan Philp

THE debate about gun control has been reignited overseas and on the home front.

After the recent mass shooting in America, and the State Government cutting red tape for gun owners, gun control is being reassessed around the world.

Australia's gun control laws were scrutinised and tightened after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded by a gunman wielding a semi-automatic rifle. The guns were eventually banned.

As America begins to question their comparatively relaxed gun laws, Kingaroy Clay Target Club president Gary Brown said he mostly agreed with the state of Australian laws.

"(Changes to the law after the Port Arthur massacre) saw mainly the removal of a lot of military style, high calibre firearms," he said.

"I think it was probably a healthy decision to remove those sorts of firearms.

"I just couldn't see the need for banning some small magazine hunting rifles and sporting firearms that were a part of the ban."

In August the Queensland Government introduced an online system and registry to allow firearm license holders to obtain new firearms in a matter of weeks.

Kingaroy Firearms and Supplies owner and South Burnett Pistol Club committee member Allan Hibbs welcomed the system.

"It is absolutely unnecessary for someone who already has a firearms license and legally owned guns to have to wait several months for a new gun," he said.

"The online system is better and means legal gun owners are able to acquire a new firearm in a week, rather than months.

Before the introduction of the online system, obtaining a gun licence and a permit to acquire a firearm could take up to two years.

A 2007 Sporting Shooters Association of Australia report showed 186,884 Queenslanders hold a gun license and registered firearms - 6.9% of the state's then population.

Nanango candidate for the Australian Katter Party Carl Rackermann said gun legislation was an inconvenience to law-abiding gun licensees.

"We don't believe gun owners should be stigmatised. As per usual, honest people bear the brunt of it," he said.

South Burnett

Topics:  guns, kingaroy, law, port arthur, south burnett, us massacre



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