Calls to reverse gun distribution amid COVID-19
DISTRIBUTION of firearms have today been called into question as the economic ripple effect amid the COVID-19 crisis begins to impact the Central Queensland region.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga on Monday wrote to the Minister for Health Steven Miles requesting the decision to close licensed armourers and licenced gun dealers be overturned.
It comes after Mr Miles last week announced the decision to add weaponry suppliers to the extensive list of non-essential businesses ordered to shut their doors under revised social distancing restrictions.
The confusion however, Ms Lauga noted, lay with the continued operation of a number of other retail stores inside shopping centres.
"If licensed armourers and dealers are exercising the same public health principles as other retail outlets which are permitted to still operate, then there is no reason why they should be considered a non-essential business."
Further outlined in a statement released Tuesday morning, Ms Lauga's call for reversal came following mounting concerns surrounding the impact store closures might have on local farming communities.
"I am very concerned about this decision because it will restrict the ability for law-abiding licensed armourers and dealers to carry out their business."
These businesses, she said, are subject to rigorous licensing systems and are responsible for the supply of weapons to many Central Queensland farmers and graziers.
"Farmers will still need to shoot feral animals on their property, despite the COVID-19 outbreak."
"Farmers now can't get the ammunition and parts they need to humanely put down injured livestock and control vermin."
UPDATE, 12PM: As of midday on Tuesday, The State Government reversed its decision to classify gun stores as non-essential with owners given the green light to resume operations.