Shoot threats on signs stir debate
YELL at someone that you will shoot them if they enter your property while you are holding a gun and you will be breaking the law.
But put it on a sign and you're doing nothing wrong.
Rockhampton police and a local solicitor say signs on properties threatening trespassers with a bullet are perfectly legal, despite the harmful intention they suggest.
Police said that while there were laws against carrying out the actions stated, there was no law against the signs themselves.
Signs on a gate at a property at Yaamba, north of Rockhampton, caused a resident to ask the question, why?
The property has provided access to popular fishing spots.
A spokeswoman for the police prosecutions office yesterday said it was a bit of a grey area.
"A threat written on a sign doesn't really exist until someone enters the property," she said.
She also said that the threat did not apply to everyone but only those with the intent to trespass.
CQUniversity communications expert Christina Hunt, said in her personal opinion the signs were perhaps an indication of society's need to achieve things through fear and intimidation.
"The signs are good as a deterrent, but are a terrifying way of saying it," she said yesterday. "
Words can be very dangerous, but it's all relative to the person who reads it."
Ms Hunt wondered about the mentality of the people behind the signs.
Councillor Glenda Mather said, coming from the land herself, she understood the sentiments behind these signs.
"Rural property-owners fiercely protect their patch and their assets - anyone who crosses them is looking for trouble," Cr Mather said.