Here at Shooters Union, we’ve been thinking that something doesn’t quite add up about why the Queensland Government has been hellbent on taking their demands for a national gun registry to National Cabinet, especially since (A) a national registry already exists, (B) the Queensland police officers who were murdered in December already knew that there were guns at the property they were attending, and were in fact there to serve a warrant for firearms offences, and (C) none of the murderers was licensed.
Then we realised that when states get grandstanding about taking things to National Cabinet, it usually results in some sort of new funding heading their way. You can hear the metaphorical lightbulb clicking on already - suddenly, Queensland’s demands make perfect sense.
Our bet is that the Queensland government thought they could score a fat wad of Commonwealth cash to “work on a national registry”, then sink that money straight into other things – like processing the backlog of PTAs and licences that they have left sitting for months.
We know from every meeting we have been in with Weapons Licensing Branch that they keep crying poor and saying they don’t have enough staff to do this.
It’s an open secret that the entire firearms management system is falling apart under the weight of its own bureaucracy, not just in Queensland but in every other state too. Police keep going back to the politicians holding out their hands for more money to “fix” the problems, but the coffers seem to have dried up. Easy solution – start a fear campaign to get the feds to pay!
Except this time, the ploy hasn’t worked… at least, not yet. The states must be fuming that the Prime Minister hasn’t written them a blank cheque to “do something about guns” (after all, John Howard was always happy to oblige). Good on Mr Albanese for that.
More money isn’t going to fix a system that has always been about feel-good ideology. If Australia’s gun registries actually worked the way that politicians and police bureaucrats keep telling us, they wouldn’t have to keep finding excuses to add layer after layer after layer on to that system and it wouldn’t keep costing more and more money to run.
The simple fact is that longarm registration has always been a farce – and politicians and police know it.
Rather than come clean, those same politicians and police would rather keep pouring hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into sweeping the truth under a worn out carpet that already is so lumpy with lies it looks like a typical Queensland rural road.
It is only a matter of time before the money-grabbers come up with their next get-rich-quick gun scam. We are waiting, and we are watching.