Rocky focus: Fears gun laws could create weapons 'smorgasbord'
A "SMORGASBORD" of weapons could offer itself to CQ's criminals if the country's doctors get their way.
This is the fear of the state's shooting community amidst the Australian Medical Association's proposal for centralised gun storage at local clubs.
The biggest proposed shake-up to Australia's gun laws since the Port Arthur tragedy comes directly in the wake of the worst gun massacre in US history after 58 concert-goers were gunned down in Las Vegas last week.
Rockhampton gun shop owner Nathan Armstrong said the local reaction from sporting and recreational shooters is "what you would expect".
"No one is in favour of the suggestion, and for obvious reasons," Mr Armstrong said.
While AMA president Michael Gannon said gun clubs are the safest place to store weapons, those who handle them regularly would argue the opposite.
Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) Queensland president Bob Green said the move would provide a "one-stop-shop for criminals to access a smorgasbord of firearms".
Mr Armstrong pointed out the centralised storage locations would have to be made known to the public, essentially adversing the locations to "organised criminals".
He said licensed firearm owners already have to comply with very specific and stringent laws regarding firearms storage, and are subject to regular police inspections to ensure they continue to do so.
He believes the proposed changes would create more negative outcomes than any perceived positives.
"Currently we have firearm owners securing their personal firearms in their own homes which is a much more discreet option," he said.
Mr Armstrong grew up on a Central Queensland property, and had previously told The Morning Bulletin gun safety was embedded in his upbringing.
He argued if the laws were to combat terror events in recent times, cars were a glaring method which would be better targeted under the same logic.
"Once again we're seeing regulatory bodies focusing their attention towards the people who are not the problem," he said.
"Australia does not have the firearm problems that are being discussed in other countries, we already have very sufficient legislation and governing law for our licensed shooters and any efforts to reduce firearm related crime in this country should be directed at organised crime and our border security resources.
"If we look at the terror events that have occurred in recent times, the more common method of attack has been to use vehicles as the weapon of choice, these suggestions of centralised gun storage could, under the same logic, be applied to our personal vehicles.
"There seems to be an agreement among our legislators and politicians that firearms are in their own right inherently evil.
"This is a misconception that the law abiding firearm owners are getting tired of, it is a vilification of genuinely upstanding members of our communities."
Mr Armstrong said any further restrictions may in fact result in the undesired effect of increasing demand for unregistered and illegal firearms.
GUN LICENSING EXPLAINED:
- Newcomers must undergo a safety-training course; pass police background checks; invest in a suitable safe for their future firearm.
- Can take six months, up to 12 months before they receive their first firearm.
- For each individual firearm purchase the licensee must gain approval from the Police again in the form of a Permit to Acquire, which can take more than a month to receive.