Firearms dealers have been reclassified as an essential service for rural industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Firearms dealers have been reclassified as an essential service for rural industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quick flip on firearms dealers: guns and ammo now essential

FIREARMS dealers have been added to the list of essential services in Queensland during the coronavirus crisis, just one day after initially being classed as non-essential, and prohibited from operating.

The speedy change in classification follows uproar from rural industries, pest controllers and veterinarians, who reminded the Queensland Government they rely on the tools to do their jobs.

State agriculture minister Mark Furner said the groups’ concerns were heard, and it would work with them as the world navigates difficult times during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The government received strong representation from primary producers and other groups on this issue and this latest direction provides a sensible, workable and practical solution,” he said.

“Our primary producers are playing an essential role as we battle against COVID-19 and these latest measures will make it easier for them to do their jobs.

“As Queenslanders, we have to work together to tackle this unprecedented challenge to our community, so when we come out the other side we are stronger and more united than ever before.”

Now, licensed armourers dealers will be able to provide essential services to primary producers and other industries under the latest direction from the Chief Health Officer.

They can store, modify, repair, acquire or supply weapons and ammunition to specific groups, namely:

  • Commercial pest controllers.
  • Feral animal controllers.
  • Veterinarians.
  • Shark control contractors.
  • State and federal bodies.

The government’s decision-making on the issue has certainly not gone unscathed; the state opposition were quick to call for Mr Furner’s sacking as agriculture minister over the ‘backflip’.

Shadow agriculture minister Tony Perrett made scathing comments about the minister, and said Mr Furner was incompetent.

“The anxiety caused by Minister Furner’s inability to do his job and stop the closure of weapon armourers was proof that the Premier should sack him,” he said.

“Farmers are needed now more than ever to produce food and fibre, and they rely on firearms in the management of their land, but Minister Furner repeatedly forgets this.

“This shows how out of touch the Palaszczuk Labor Government is with regional Queensland.”


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