State Government manufactured delays and excuses have made dealing with Weapons Licensing a nightmare for law abiding gun owners.

Member for Gympie, Tony Perrett, said that the Government has been hiding behind Covid-19 as its latest excuse to delay routine applications.

Applicants are being done over by a bureaucracy that doesn’t want to make things easy.

Covid-19 is the excuse to go slow on processing applications, for restricted contact times, and weapons licensing staff working from home.

Last week I asked the Police Minister when Weapons Licensing will resume full busines hours for phone contact and staff return to work from the office. *

I regularly deal with a stream of complaints about the lack of progress and amount of time it’s taking on what should be a relatively straightforward process.

They can’t handle applications in a timely manner.

You pay a fee for the service which presumably was to cover the cost, so it should be adequately resourced.

It doesn’t matter if you are already a gun owner or have a licence the delays on getting a licence, renewing a licence, or obtaining a Permit to Acquire are ridiculous.

This week an applicant was told to wait 15 to 20 weeks, four or five months, before his application is dealt with.

That’s from now.

He applied for a Permit to Acquire and a new licence 12 weeks ago on 30 April.

I made representations on his behalf to the Police Minister on 19 May who responded on 26 May that they needed further information, that it had already been provided, and that the application was being processed.

When he contacted Weapons Licensing yesterday (Thursday) he was told he’d have to wait another 15 to 20 weeks.

That makes it somewhere between a 27 and 32 week, or eight-month turnaround.

Even a 15 to 20-week turnaround to process paperwork is unacceptable.

Covid -19 is not a legitimate reason to make decent hardworking law-abiding gun owners wait four or five months to deal with their application.

If you apply today, you’ll be lucky if it’s dealt with before 2021 let alone Christmas.

What does the Government think is a reasonable service within a reasonable time frame?

This problem is not new, they cannot keep blaming Covid-19.

Law abiding gunowners are increasingly frustrated.

Primary producers use guns as tools of trade, to deal with pests such as wild dogs and pigs, for protecting crops, and to humanely euthanise animals.

The Government is doing everything it can to demonise gun owners and the industry.

The Police Minister and Agriculture Minister couldn’t close gun shops quick enough in March.

They used the cloak of Covid-19 to unilaterally close licensed dealers and armourers with no notice to farmers, primary producers or affected businesses and no explanation to the industry.

The Ministers didn’t seem to know that people in the agriculture and pest control industries need guns to manage their properties and operate their own business.

Last week the Government went even further and is regulating toy guns. ** You cannot use a gel blaster, a toy which fires a water-based pellet.

They’ll be a restricted item under the Weapons Act and users will have to meet similar obligations as gun owners.

You’ll have to lock them up, can’t use them on private property and in your backyard, and you must be a member of an association and only use it at the club.