In order to acquire a sports target pistol in the state of Queensland you need to join the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA), join a recognized pistol club, do a full day safety induction, participate in 15 official competitions, obtain the written support of the President of your pistol club evidencing your competence and participation, wait six months from date of club membership, do another safety induction, provide proof of ownership/access to legislatively required firearms storage facilities, gather supporting medical evidence if required, lodge your Category H Concealable Firearms License Application, wait for that to be processed, acquire your Category H Concealable Weapons License Number, lodge a Permit To Acquire application, wait a minimum 28 days for that to be processed and then go purchase yourself a pistol. All up that takes somewhere between 9-12 months IF Weapons Licensing Branch is actually processing applications in a timely fashion, which they NEVER are – anecdotal evidence indicates delays of 3-6 months are not uncommon. My own Cat H application took over 10 weeks to process and that was AFTER my application was expedited due to a particular vituperative and impatient letter to the Minister of Police, the Qld Police Commissioner, the Director of QPS Administrative Services and the Manager of Weapons Licensing Branch regarding the unreasonable delays being experienced across board due to a new computer system being implemented – yes, I’m one of THOSE consumers. And all this is normally done after you’ve already gone through several months of similar hoop jumping to get your Cat A&B Firearms License for rifles etc., and I have a sneaky suspicion that I’ve forgotten some of the swings and roundabouts on the particularly circuitous route one must take to own a competition pistol.
Once licensed, legislation dictates that you may purchase no more than two pistols in your first 12 months of holding a Category H License – 1 x air pistol, and either 1 x rimfire pistol (usually .22 calibre) OR 1 x centrefire pistol (usually .38, .45, .50 or 9mm calibres). You many NOT purchase 1 x rimfire pistol and 1 x centrefire pistol… the two types that are most commonly used in competition shooting for those disinterested in the ‘pfft pfft’ of competative air pistol shooting. Like many new sports pistol competitors, I opted for a .22 as my first acquisition which would enable me practice regularly and participate frequently due to low oncosts (50 rounds of .22 ammo = $3.50 as compared to 50 round of 9mm ammo = $28.00). This then, in accordance with the legislation, prohibits me from purchasing a centrefire pistol until 12 months of being a Cat H License holder has passed. Apparently this ‘staggered release’ purchasing system is for the ‘safety of the wider community’.
Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture?
If your first purchase can be a .45 calibre hand-cannon… what’s the fucking point in restricting a licensed .22 owner from purchasing a second pistol?
To the Queensland Police Service’s Weapons Licensing Branch – Buying a handgun should be hard. It should require detailed background checking, and applicants should undergo scrutiny and be required to undertake safety inductions and participate in controlled and regulated club competitions… But you lot are totally out of touch. The acquisition restrictions imposed on legally licensed firearms owners are complete bullshit. If someone is intent on committing an illegal act using a firearm, do they think that potential criminal is going to go through over 12 months of bureaucratic bullshit to acquire said firearm legally? If a firearms license holder owns two legally purchased pistols instead of one are they more of a risk to the community then they are if just in possession of one stonking great Desert Eagle? Is one more likely to commit a firearm related crime because they own two competition pistols as compared to what we must naturally extrapolate is a diminished impulse towards criminal behaviour if they own just one?
I’m sorry, I must be slow or something, because I’m just not seeing the logic here. Why are you people making me wait 12 months before I can engage further in my chosen competitive sport? But then again, come to think of it… perhaps the Queensland Police Service Service’s Weapons Licensing Branch is where you want your most irrational policy makers and greatest bureaucratic incompetence at. After all, we can’t have logic interfering with legislation pertaining to the use and distribution of firearms now can we?