Shooters Union is actively fighting for suppressor legalisation in Queensland

THE Queensland Government is coming under pressure from furious primary producers and shooters over allegations they ‘moved the goalposts’ to nullify a legal case result which had ruled against them.

Queensland farmer James Ryder requires a firearm suppressor to mitigate hearing loss from controlling feral pests on his farm, and applied to the police Weapons Licensing Branch (WLB) for an exemption to own one.

His application was denied due to suppressors being categorised the same as machine-guns and rocket-launchers under current law, but he was advised – in writing – that he could appeal the matter to the Queensland Civil Administration Tribunal (QCAT), which he did.

QCAT not only ruled in Mr Ryder’s favour, it questioned the restrictions on suppressors and suggested they be removed from the restricted category.

The police appealed the ruling, claiming QCAT did not have jurisdiction to hear the case – and QCAT agreed with them, essentially nullifying its earlier ruling.

The decision has caused outrage among primary producers and shooters alike, with Mr Ryder accusing the state Government of moving the goalposts because they didn’t get the outcome they expected.

“I have followed all the correct procedures, including the police service’s own advice, and they’ve decided to change the rules because they don’t like how it’s turned out for them,” he said.

“It’s completely unacceptable and I will be taking this legal fight further.”

Mr Ryder said he honestly did not see why there was such a fuss over suppressors, either.

“If I was 150km south across the border in NSW, I could easily apply for – and get - a suppressor permit for use on my farm, yet in Queensland they are lumped in with machine

guns, bazookas and land mines,” he said.

“Hearing loss is not a particularly pleasant thing to experience ,especially when there is a simple fix available that satisfies both Worksafe noise guidelines and biosecurity obligations for farmers at no risk to the community.

“Noise induced hearing loss is a major issue amongst farmers, farm workers and recreational shooters. Suppressor are a safe effective engineering control measure that follows the hierarchy of control guidelines required under Queensland Work Safe laws.”

His continuing fight to legalise a vital piece of safety equipment is not over and has the support, backing and assistance of the state’s pre-eminent pro-gun organisation, Shooters Union Australia, with president Graham Park describing the suppressor ban as ridiculous and harmful.

“We firmly believe that farmers, primary producers and hunters should be able to legally own suppressors for their firearms,” he said.

“It’s common knowledge the ban on suppressors exists because of how they’re portrayed in movies and video games. People have no idea how they actually work in real life.

“They do not completely silence the shot – it is still quite loud – but what they do is bring the noise level down to a safer level to mitigate hearing loss.”

Mr Park said Shooters Union had established a legal fighting fund to help Mr Ryder appeal his case further and get the vital equipment legalised in Queensland.

“We’re not all going to suddenly turn into John Wick because we can put a sound suppressor on a hunting rifle,” Mr Park said.

“NSW issues suppressor permits and they haven’t had any problems, they’re freely available in New Zealand without issues – so why is Queensland dragging their heels on this?

“Even if you don’t like guns, the implications of the Government shifting the goals to get results it wants are extremely worrying and should concern all Australians.

“It’s just not on, and we should all be taking a stand against it.”

If you would like to donate to our legal defence fund, the details are here:

The e-mail address is [email protected]


Nice work and good luck!!!

And thanks for the link, like the old saying goes “Put your money where your mouth is.” Donation made.


Thank you! It will be put to good use :slight_smile:


Here’s another worthwhile link.
Sorry, but the original URL is 217 characters, so thought that this would be tidier.
It’s a 2011 report, published by the Edith Cowan University.
Only trouble is, politicians believe in fairy stories (movies) and will not listen to reason.
It will be an uphill push. Good luck though. We all need hearing protection, not just “primary producers”. Why is their hearing any more important that a regular hunter or target shooter?

It isn’t, but the simple reality is pushing the OH&S thing for primary producers is the only palatable way to get this over the line with the general public.

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The next step from Primary Producer to all is a lot smaller once it can be shown there were no crime sprees resulting and the benefits to both shooters and neighbors.


I hate your approach. It’s rational and pragmatic, but I hate it. :stuck_out_tongue:

While i agree with you JS, the thing to remember is in this particular instance it’s a farmer who’s taking up the fight so he can only really fight the case he has. SU are helping with the $ and i’m sure some other stuff behind the scenes, but at the end of the day the farmer wants to win his battle, and good on him for actually doing something.
Hopefully he wins and it can be used as a foot in the door to eventually save all our ears.

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I did say ‘pragmatic’.

I thought I should have a look at the GCA website. Yes, I did contract ass cancer while I was there.


New South Wales now allows recreational hunters to use of silencers (sound moderators).

In other jurisdictions silencers are prohibited because they are seen as being too dangerous and associated with criminal activity.

Sound moderators are a public safety issue. If you can’t hear gun shot, then you can’t run.

The push to legalise sound moderators is straight out of the NRA handbook.

Currently in America there is Bill before Congress called the Hearing Protection Act. This Act seeks to weaken the regulation of silencers in America.

Don’t let this happen here!

They seem to enjoy using America as their premonition of things to come if you don’t ban ban ban. Intellectually void.

And this. Just received notification for petition to Qld Parliament.

Re-classify suppressors as Category A Weapons

Queensland specific - lets see some good numbers from the fraternity. There really is no excuse Not to sign.

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Its okay, I identify as a Queenslander now.

Looks like you have hit a brick wall…….

Some great quotes;

“We need to keep our eye on the worst-case scenario with this type of technology, and in the wrong hands suppressors make a dangerous weapon even more dangerous.”

“It is important our community is aware of firearm activity in their area and, more specifically, that law enforcement are able to identify and locate firearm activity quickly,”

“Silencers are about selling more equipment and are pushed more by industry than shooter groups.”

“would not support anything that increases the risk of criminal gun activity”.

It’s good to see that if we ban silencers the criminals won’t use them. These people need a reality check big time.

That’s why we’re pursuing the court option by supporting the farmer fighting the Government in QCAT etc. - if they rule he is allowed a suppressor, then it doesn’t really matter what the Government thinks about the subject.

Also: Make a note of the comments in that story and remember them when election time rolls around later this year. Both the majors dislike (or even hate) shooters, so we - all of us, working together - need to put them last on the ballot.


As will always be the case, there are skeptics who go as far as denigrating actions which they believe will not have an outcome that will improve their lot, or that politicians “will never entertain such an idea”.
Of course, if one chooses to take no affirmative action, then it must follow that nothing will ever happen, one way or the other.
So far, a lowly 2,700 Queenslanders have signed this electronic petition
It’s possibly are fair bet that some of those will not even have a firearms licence, so the number is really quite pathetic.
The petition does not close until March 6th, so even if you still want to be a skeptic, there really is no reason not to add your name. Let’s see a few tens of thousands more petitioners on the list, or are there only a couple of thousand shooters who value their hearing?


My guess would be that a lot of people don’t even know the petition exists. This is where EVERY shooting club/group like SU and SSAA (to name a couple) should be emailing this petition and ones like it out to every member on their books. To really get results you NEED to spread the word.
We need to stick together and the ones with the databases of all our contact details are the only ones capable of spreading the word & making it happen.

Both sides of Government are on record as saying they will not support the petition, so no matter how many people sign it, it’s not going to achieve anything at all, unfortunately.

To the best of our knowledge there are almost no examples of a petition in Queensland in the last decade or so actually bringing about legislative change.

A list of closed e-petitions is here: and you can read the official responses to them, which in pretty much every case on the first page - including to a petition with 109,000 signatures calling for a reduction in vehicle registration cost increases - is some variation of “No” or “Oh well”.

If that’s the case then it’s a shame. But if you think of it they way a pollie would then 50,000 VOTERS saying something by signing a petition compared to 2500 will stick in their minds a little more. I wonder just how many combined members all the clubs like SU and SSAA have who could be group emailed at the touch of a button??? Even if it does nothing it still can’t hurt.

As a member i can tell you i wouldn’t mind getting an email when it’s time to sign a petition or stand together in some way.

Reasonably easy to set up a portal like that.

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Yep, i mean we all get emailed the agm newsletter and things like that so how hard could it be. Add a little comment saying “even if the particular issue isn’t relevant to you personally, as a shooter lets stand together and sign.”

Look how well the posting of these things work on a small scale by being brought up on forums like this one, but i’d guess only a small percentage of shooters would be on forums so the word only gets so far.