‘Farm­ers are not ter­ror­ists’

One Na­tion at­tacks La­bor on gun laws

NewsMail - - NEWS - Jim Alouat jim.alouat@news-mail.com.au

ONE Na­tion has ac­cused La­bor of treat­ing farm­ers like ter­ror­ists dur­ing a heated de­bate on farm­ers’ rights to own cat­e­gory H firearms.

But La­bor says we don’t live in Amer­ica and no­body should have an au­to­matic right to hold a con­cealed firearm.

One Na­tion Bund­aberg can­di­date Jane Tr­us­cott said on Face­book her party was com­mit­ted to “tak­ing a fair and bal­anced ap­proach to firearms own­er­ship”.

“In our re­gion, we know that firearm own­er­ship is a fun­da­men­tal tool of trade for our farm­ers,” Dr Tr­us­cott said.

“La­bor and the LNP clearly do not sup­port or un­der­stand the needs of pri­mary pro­duc­ers in re­gional Queens­land.”

Last week in State Par­lia­ment, Kat­ter’s Aus­tralian Party MP Rob­bie Kat­ter moved a mo­tion to pro­vide as-of-right ac­cess to cat­e­gory H firearms for farm­ers.

Mr Kat­ter de­scribed the cur­rent laws as “im­prac­ti­cal” and an “anom­aly” be­cause Weapons Li­cens­ing Queens­land was re­ject­ing ap­pli­ca­tions and re­newals from pri­mary pro­duc­ers who had le­git­i­mate rea­sons to own a hand­gun.

“A farmer can still own a hand­gun to shoot at the pis­tol club in town but they can’t own one to use for their busi­ness,” he said. “It makes no sense.” The mo­tion was re­jected by La­bor and the LNP but gained sup­port from One Na­tion Mem­ber for Bud­erim Steve Dick­son.

“I know that the La­bor Party wants to treat farm­ers like ter­ror­ists,” Mr Dick­son.

“They treat farm­ers very badly.”

But Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said while she had a great re­spect for pri­mary pro­duc­ers they should not be put in a dif­fer­ent cat­e­gory from other Queens­lan­ders and Aus­tralians on the gun is­sue.

Ms Trad re­minded One Na­tion and the Kat­ter Party that the na­tion had united over gun own­er­ship more than 20 years ago after the Port Arthur mas­sacre.

“At that time, we as a na­tion made a de­ci­sion that we would not be a na­tion that had a lib­eral at­ti­tude to­wards pro­lific gun own­er­ship in this coun­try be­cause we ac­knowl­edge the mas­sive and ter­ri­ble dam­age caused by guns,” she said.

Op­po­si­tion po­lice spokesman Tim Mander said the LNP had raised is­sues about in­con­sis­ten­cies in cat­e­gory H li­cens­ing.

“How­ever, the ap­proach from KAP MPs Rob­bie Kat­ter and Shane Knuth had the po­ten­tial to bring down the whole sys­tem and ruin it for all firearm own­ers in Queens­land,” Mr Mander said.

“It could have meant that any pri­mary pro­ducer in Queens­land had the right to own and use a cat­e­gory H weapon – with­out the need for li­cens­ing.

“That in­cludes any­one with a vi­o­lent crim­i­nal record – the very peo­ple we don’t want to have a firearm.”

A na­tion­wide firearms amnesty be­gan on July 1 al­low­ing any­one with un­wanted or un­reg­is­tered firearms to reg­is­ter or dis­pose of them at reg­is­tered firearms deal­ers or po­lice sta­tions with­out penalty.

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