Yep, that’s right, Queensland Police Service, Weapons Licensing Branch are fucking us around – YET AGAIN!
When I applied for my Cat A/B licence… it was the implementation of a new computer system that was allegedly holding up processing.
When I applied for my Cat H licences… it was the 2011 floods that supposedly affected QPS offices that was blamed for excessive processing times.
When I applied for a PTA for my first Cat H acquisition… it was a backlog of applications that was stated to be the problem.
When I applied for a PTA for my second Cat H acquisition… it was lost paperwork that was claimed to be at fault for everything taking forever.
Now I’ve applied for a Cat A/B licence for my son, and I’m told that delays already at over 11 weeks, are the result of ‘an inordinate volume of new applications, so don’t bother even calling us until it has been more than 12 weeks since you lodged your application’. Application was lodged on FEBRUARY 28th… I made a call on MAY 19th, and was told it wasn’t even assigned to an Authorising Officer yet… And it’s now JUNE 3rd and there’s still no fucking sign of it.
Oh, and this was a fricken online application. That means the new streamlined computerised system that was holding us all up, five years ago, is STILL holding us up! Their damn website is covered in logos that say ‘Save Time – Apply Online’. What a joke. Save what fucking time? It’s taking just as long, if not longer than it did when we had to lodge in person at a police station – not to mention the fact that part way through the process, you lot are going to request that we attend a Police Station (of your choosing) to provide proof of ID to an authorised officer at some point anyway… so where exactly is the benefit in using the online application system?
Now, I might be wrong, but Weapons Licensing are required to attend to applications in a timeframe that is deemed ‘as soon as is practicable’ after any mandatory 28 day waiting periods. I don’t know about y’all, but 12 weeks does not seem a practical or equitable wait period for any government FEE FOR SERVICE process. Because of course the buggers have had my money since February 28th for a service not yet rendered. Now it doesn’t matter so much for a Cat A/B… but if I’ve joined a pistol club, that is a quarter of my yearly membership fee (and importantly my range fees!) used up by the time I get my licence and can go down the range, and practice shoot independently, as a licensed shooter – and that is seriously FUCKED.
I should not have to resort to writing indignant letters to the Minister for Queensland Police Service, the Queensland Police Service Commissioner, the Director of Queensland Police Service Administrative Branch, the Manager of Weapons Licensing Branch and the designated Authorizing Officer just to have a simple licence application processed, and one that I have bloody well paid for, at that. (That is the exact list of people to ‘cc’ into your complaint if you want to see some immediate action, btw – all email addresses readily available with a big of digging around the QPS website.)
I continue to be gobsmacked at the complete lack of efficacy and accountability demonstrated by the obviously inept managerial and administrative staff running Queensland’s Weapons Licensing Branch. I mean, how friggin’ hard is it to train extra staff to do what is essentially data processing and run background checks through QPS’s own databases? How bloody bad does it have to get before they actually recruit and put on some extra staff to process this alleged ‘high volume of applications’? FFS, I’ll fucking go work for them if they need it – by all accounts, it sounds like the sort of admin grunt work a trained monkey could do.
But in the meantime, here I wait with absolutely no patience whatsoever for Queensland Police Service’s Weapons Licensing Branch to finally GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER!