A Christmas Bonus: Our December Newsletter

NORMALLY our monthly newsletter is members-only, but we’ve had some really good results this month so wanted to share it with the wider shooting community as well and give everyone some insights into what we’ve been up to. Also I spent ages putting it together and it’s Christmas. :slight_smile:


The Queensland Civil Administration Tribunal (QCAT) has ruled being a primary producer is an occupational reason for a handgun licence under the state’s firearms laws.

The decision comes after Weapons Licensing refused to renew a grazier’s handgun licence, claiming he did not need a pistol for his work. The grazier appealed to QCAT and won, with Weapons Licensing appealing the decision.

A few days ago, QCAT dismissed the appeal and upheld their original ruling – primary production is an occupational reason for having a handgun licence.

The Shooters Union team are proud to say we contributed financially to the grazier’s legal costs and are delighted with the result, which has far-reaching implications for all law-abiding firearms users.

You can read more about it in this story from Queensland Country Life: https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/6544053/weapons-licensing-handgun-appeal-dismissed


If you’ve been following our updates and social media, you may have heard the Northern Territory arbitrarily recategorised the Savage A22R .22 lever-release rifle to Category C in early November without any consultation or discussion.

We’ve been extremely busy fighting this, and there’s still more to be done.

Here’s some of what we have done:

  • Written to both the NT Acting Police Commissioner and the NT Police Minister protesting the recategorisation and demanding an explanation. More than a month later, nothing has been forthcoming.

  • Contacted every one of our NT members with a personalised letter including their local MP’s details, asking our members to get in touch with their MP and object to the reclassification

  • Issued a media release to major media outlets in the NT – the Katherine Times picked up the story and ran with it [https://www.katherinetimes.com.au/story/6515904/new-firearm-laws-catch-owners-by-surprise/]

  • Liaising with other pro-shooting organisations to ensure the pressure is kept up.

There’s more work to do to fight this, because there is no doubt this is being watched by other states with an eye to seeing what else they can arbitrarily recategorise.

If you know a shooter in the NT – encourage them to join so we can keep fighting, and get them to contact their MP to let them know this recategorisation by unilateral decree will not be tolerated.


QCAT has ruled it does not have the jurisdiction to force Queensland’s Police Commissioner to exercise their discretionary powers relating to issuing permits for Category R items in the state, meaning farmer James Ryder’s application to own a suppressor remains denied, despite Mr Ryder presenting a wealth of expert evidence relating to the OH&S benefits of suppressors and QCAT themselves finding suppressors should not be Category R items.

Shooters Union contributed financially to Mr Ryder’s legal costs and while we are disappointed with the outcome, we are proud to support him and will continue to push for suppressors being made available to primary producers and other people with an occupational reason for them in Queensland.

At this stage the only way to remedy the situation is via legislative change and we will be looking into how this might best be accomplished – stay tuned.


The Tasmanian House Of Assembly Select Committee On Firearms Legislation And Policy has delivered its final report into firearms law reform in the state.

Shooters Union Tasmania president Alistair Shephard made strong submissions to the enquiry and is quoted extensively throughout the report.

Most of the useful suggestions made by pro-gun representatives – including making Category C firearms more available to sporting shooters and hunters – were completely ignored (no surprises there), the door has been left slightly ajar for suppressors to potentially become available as OH&S items in the future.

Otherwise, the report basically appears to conclude everything is fine and the committee does not support changing the state’s gun laws.

You can read the full report here: http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ctee/House/Reports/Final%20Report%20-%20Select%20Committee%20on%20Firearms%20Legislation%20and%20Policy.pdf


And to round the year out, here’s a piece from Shooting UK on Red Deer antlers, and what creates the number of points on them:


Merry Christmas, a happy and prosperous New Year and safe shooting!

  • The Shooters Union team