This speech is history now, 12 years ago in Parlaiment One Nation tried to offer the Nationals a way out a half baked solution, which would have saved the National Party half the membership that was walking away from it and have still never returned. They refused, the Bill never got up, the Nationald lost, One Nation lose and we the shooters of Queensland have been losing since 1996. Now is the time to Act. This is interesting not just from a history persepective but as the Editors Note at the bottom by J. Hendix, fortune favours the brave, half measures inspire no one. Ron
Weapons Act Amendment 1998
W.Feldman MLA (One Nation)
Today represents a historic occasion for the firearm owners of Queensland.
I will now introduce to the Parliament One Nation’s Private member’s Bill to amend the Weapons Act 1990 which will return some commonsense and sanity to the firearms debate.
Firstly let me reiterate our philosophy on firearm ownership. We believe firearms should only be acquired and used by fit and proper and licensed persons, and our policy reflects this.
We also believe that licensed firearm owners should not be treated like criminals, should not be harassed by government departments, and should not be subject to unnecessary regulation or intrusion into their day to day activities.
Most importantly, we believe firearm owners must not be blamed and punished for things that are not their fault.
One Nation’s policy is based on the following principles.
That shooting is a legitimate sport and pastime and participants should be treated accordingly.
That Australians have the right to defend themselves and their families in their own homes.
That disarming law abiding Australians is not in the national interest and will do nothing to reduce crime.
In addition, the existing Weapons Act has grown to be an administrative nightmare, and very wasteful of police resources which would be far better utilised in fighting real criminals.
On the subject of crime, the number of robberies involving firearms has jumped 39% last year according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures as reported in the Sunday Mail on 18th of October 1998.
In the same article a criminologist expressed surprise and bafflement at the increase and tried to explain it away. The reason why armed robbery has increased despite the buy-back Mr Speaker, is that the criminals didn’t hand in their guns, only honest people did.
This Bill contains a number of new initiatives designed to ensure that only fit and proper persons can legally own and operate firearms in Queensland, and at the same time reward law abiding firearm owners by sensibly amending many provisions in the current Act.
We support the existing 28 day cooling off period and we agree with compulsory theoretical and practical training before a license is issued.
This legislation will establish a Prohibited Persons Register of persons who are not fit and proper to hold a license or possess a weapon.
Under this legislation, a doctor or psychologist must report a condition or illness, which for the purpose of this Bill, would make a person unsuitable to obtain or hold a firearms license or weapon.
This person will be placed on the register and will remain on the register until cleared by a doctor or psychologist.
In addition, a domestic violence order, other than a temporary protection order, will continue to prevent a person from obtaining or holding a license or weapon for 5 years after the expiry of the order.
A person who has been convicted of any of the following offences in Queensland or elsewhere will not be able to obtain or hold a firearm license or weapon within 5 years from the time of the conviction.
A non-indictable offence relating to the misuse of drugs.
A non-indictable offence involving the use, or threatened use of violence.
A non-indictable offence involving the use, carriage, discharge or possession of a weapon.
The conviction for an indictable offence in Queensland or elsewhere will mean a ban for life against obtaining or holding a license or firearm.
We strongly support the concept of self defence, and so in this Bill, defence of a person or the person’s family in the person’s place of residence will be a valid reason to obtain a firearms license subject of course to satisfying all other requirements under the Act.
Under this legislation, a fit and proper person, once obtaining a firearms license, which is issued for life subject to good behaviour, will be able to acquire a category A, B or C class weapon.
A permit to acquire will not be required for category A, B or C class weapons.
Category A, B and C class weapons will not have to be traded through a licensed dealer, but a person must not acquire a weapon unless licensed, nor may a person sell or dispose of a weapon to an unlicensed person.
Category D and H weapons will require a permit to purchase and membership of an appropriate organisation or another acceptable reason to acquire and hold as defined under the Act.
Interstate residents moving to Queensland will have to satisfy all additional requirements under this Bill before being issued with a license.
The time limit to obtain a Queensland license is 14 days for category A, B or C weapons, and 7 days to obtain a license for category D and H weapons.
The commissioner will have to maintain a firearms register for category D and H weapons only. Information on the firearms register can only be released by the commissioner to the chief executive of the police service of the Commonwealth or another state for a valid purpose as defined under this Bill.
This Bill will also remove the anomaly whereby someone legally acting in self-defence may nevertheless still be guilty of an offence under the Weapons Act.
Likewise, practical amendments have been made to make the transportation of an uncovered firearm in a vehicle legal in certain circumstances.
This Bill will also establish a community liaison committee to provide advice to the Minister on the administration of the Act. Establishment of the committee is provided for in the current Act, but for some reason, the committee has never been established.
The committee will consist of nominated representatives from various interest groups who will be appointed by the Minister. This committee should provide a valuable interface between government and the public on the administration of the Act, and firearms issues in general.
This Bill is a sensible compromise and will stop unsuitable persons from accessing firearms legally, and will allow law abiding firearm owners to go about their business with a minimum of government interference.
I commend the Bill to the house.
Editorial Note. Bill commends it, and we realise it would take a miracle to get it past.
We realise that it may win them enough publicity to win the By-election of Mulgrave, if the media are kind and hound them for proposing such revolutionary stuff. But is it revolutionary? I don’t believe that you can half skin a cat. Its either skinned or it’s not. Bill Feldman has tried to half skin the cat, and could lose people like me, who believe that proposing half measures when you know they are ridiculous and won’t work.. Twenty eight day cooling off periods, registration of semi-auto’s and pump action shotguns, renewable shooters licences (Yes all that is still in the One Nation proposed new Act) and permits to purchase will not bring the armed crime rate down from 39%. Hand gun lifetime carry permits at a $1.00 each would. Bill may not realise how easy it is to collect a D.V.O. If he owns guns he should think of this before he refuses to put sugar on his wife’s cornflakes in the morning. Bill should look up Indictable offences in a comprehensive legal dictionary before banning people for life. Any offence can be indictable if the matter is not dealt with in a summary fashion. I know a person who was indicted instead of summonsed for contempt of court. I am not saying I won’t vote for a One Nation candidate again but I sure will look for better options. On the other hand Bill will have already lost the bleeding hearts who think that a demon killer lives down the barrel of every gun. Historically, bandaid solutions don’t work. Half measures because they think the media will laugh do not solve any problems or win them any friends. Victory goes to the brave heart, truth wins, sometimes, but lies never do..Pauline was brave and said, “The King has no clothes,” “ATSIC is corrupt”, she won the seat of Oxley. You have to inspire, and provide leadership. Compromise! Bill and both sides run off like the half skinned cat.