Policy Position (Endorsed June 2017)

AgForce Queensland Farmers supports Queensland Primary Producers’ reasonable access to and safe use of any firearm Category (A, B, C, D & H) that ensures:
  1. prompt, safe and humane euthanizing of livestock that exhibit terminal illness, injury, or serious distress due to adverse environmental conditions.
  2. culling of feral animals, both opportunistic and trapped, when a primary producer is attending to property management practices (e.g. mustering or completing a water-run) on a motorbike or in a vehicle.  Feral animals are usually seen at impromptu times and having a firearm available at a moment’s notice is critical to ensure optimal primary production and therefore improved enterprise viability.  AgForce Queensland Farmers only condones the use of Category H (hand guns) on a feral animal when it is trapped, therefore ensuring humane destruction at a short-range.  
  3. a safe working environment for primary producers – e.g. the safer carry of a short-arm (Category H) firearm compared to a long-arm (e.g. when mustering on two-wheel motorbike through scrub country a long-arm rifle carried by sling over the shoulders of the rider can be caught on low level branches therefore potentially causing serious injury).
Queensland primary producers who have applied for a new or renewal Category H (hand gun) licence have been consistently declined/ rejected by Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) Weapons Licencing Branch (WLB) since 2016.  AgForce have received approximately 40 (documented) producer complaints questioning why WLB are rejecting applications when there has been no change to the Queensland Weapons Act 1990.    

With the exception of the QPS and Queensland-based Australian Defence Force personnel, primary producers make up the largest number of legitimate firearm users for normal “business-as-usual” needs, with the specific purposes of euthanizing of livestock to meet animal welfare needs and control of feral animals.

The vast majority of primary producers have always treated firearms with respect, and since implementation of the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) in 1996, these primary producers have complied with the QPS and State and Federal Government legislative requirements by completing mandatory firearm safety training courses; ensuring safe storage of firearms and ammunition on-property and in-transit; registration of firearms and paying applicable licence and registration fees; and educating the next generation of primary producers in safe handling and use of firearms.

However, despite the goodwill actions of legitimate primary producer and recreational firearm owners, the ability of the nation’s police agencies to reduce firearm related crime and violence continues to be publicly questioned; and where the existing government strategy has focussed massive police resources into regulating the legitimate users of firearms with less attention on the criminal misuse of firearms.

AgForce Queensland Farmers policy should focus on demonstrating to governments the critical need of primary producers to own firearm types that are appropriate for any specific task at hand; whilst also working with the QPS and other firearm stakeholder groups to assist in developing and interpreting government policy, through the Weapons Act 1990 and associated Regulation, that ensures all community groups remain safe from firearm related crime.

Other relevant information

Further information on AgForce’s firearms policy can be seen below by signing into the Members Only section in the top right of the screen.
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