Rural property owners and handgun users have been labelled “lone cowboys,” by Police Minister Bill Byrne in Parliament today.
The statement was made when the Minister was questioned by Member for Mt Isa Rob Katter, as to why the licenses and renewals for Category H weapons are being consistently denied.
Disregarding the safety of property owners when travelling via bike or horse, the Minister stated he simply did not accept the idea that a pistol was a legitimate agricultural tool.
“The idea of the lone cowboy, with the pistol strapped to the hip as an effective weapon in an agricultural application, simply doesn’t cut it with me,” the Minister said.
“The core argument that a concealable pistol, Glock or any equivalent type of weapon is going to be a preferable agricultural weapon, for application in the agricultural sector is not a viable argument to make,” he said.
Mr Katter said he was extremely concerned to hear the statements from the Minister responsible for gun regulation.
“The Minister clearly does not appreciate the reasons for pistol use or have any concern for landowners on isolated rural properties,” Mr Katter said.
“To simply deny licenses because of personal beliefs is shocking, and highly irresponsible,” he said.
Mr Katter said many graziers had expressed their concern about safety when travelling with a cumbersome rifle, and frequently used a pistol, especially when dealing with feral animals at close range.
“It is not uncommon for producers working alone in remote areas to check stock water while in the vicinity of wild dogs, this is a very compromising position,” Mr Katter said.
“Pistols have long been a tool within Australia, the suggestion that pistol use in outback pastoral Australia is not a legitimate agricultural tool is outrageous.”
“These statements are unfair on lawful producers who rely on these tools in remote areas,” he said.
Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said he has heard from many people were also bewildered that their licenses had not been renewed.
“I’ve received complaints from responsible firearm owners who have had their applications rejected,” Mr Knuth said.
“I struggle to see how a producer using a handgun in thick country on dying cattle and feral animals isn’t appropriate agricultural use,” he said.
KAP will continue to fight vehemently for the rights of firearm owners in rural and regional Queensland.