I guess I don't have to point out how rare this is...in fact, I've never seen it before now. What a breath of fresh air amongst the constant usual persecution shooters are subjected to. Relating to the Gold Coast "snipers" story:
Gun owners: We are not criminals
GOLD Coast Pistol Club officials have hit back at comments condemning the use of handguns, saying gun owners are not criminals and the process prospective owners must complete before getting a weapon is thorough.
Members of the club were outraged on Thursday by comments from Gun Control Australia president John Crook, who called for handguns to be banned in Australia because they serve no useful purpose and are often the target of thieves wanting to sell them on the black market.
Mr Crook also argued it was too easy to get a handgun in Australia, saying a person with the "mental ability of a 10-year-old" was capable of passing the test.
GCPC president Barry Dixon said the comments were ill-informed but was not surprised they were being made in the wake of three recent shooting incidents on the Gold Coast.
"I realise a lot of the comments made are through lack of knowledge, I won't use the word ignorant, but through lack of knowledge because they don't understand what takes place before you become a certified gun owner," he said.
"To me, some of the comments were as ridiculous as saying we should ban cars on the road because people get killed everyday.
"I am using that as an analogy but the general licenced gun owner is a pretty safe citizen."
Club administrator Kate Harper said the process was so thorough that often prospective gun owners could wait up to 18 months between joining a club and owning a gun.
She said as well as extensive police background checks, prospective owners had to score better than 97 per cent in tests which include a lengthy written exam and a practical test.
"I hate it, I really do, because to me, we are so safety conscious," she said.
"When you see things that come out in the paper saying it is not safe and it is easy to get a licence, (it is annoying) because we know it isn't."
Ms Harper said it was not fair to criticise lawful gun owners because of shooting incidents.
"Crooks will always manage to get firearms. I was asked the other day how easy it is to get unlicensed firearms and I said I don't know," she said.
"Why would I know where to get them? Everything I have is licenced.
"We all know there are unlicensed firearms out there, but we are not criminals and we have licenced firearms. We do it for a sport."
Ms Harper said the club's members were required to keep any gun they may own in a safe or securely stored in accordance with the Weapons Act.
HOW TO GET A HANDGUN LICENCE IN QUEENSLAND:
- Fill in an expression of interest to join a gun club.
- Lodge a form with the police, showing residential address.
- Form sent to weapons licencing branch.
- Applicant then brings form and two character witnesses to the club, which decides approval at next committee meeting.
- Applicant completes a weapons safety course which includes a three-hour lecture, a written test and a practical test.
- If completed satisfactorily, statement of attainment is issued.
- After six months of club membership and competing in three supervised pistol competitions, applicant completes a form and attends police station with proof of residence, two passport photos, statement of attainment and proof of financial club membership.
- A fee of $210 is paid for a five year licence.
- After 28 days the application is processed and approved pending thorough police background checks.
- New licencees can then purchase a pistol, showing a genuine cause to obtain a firearm.
- If first firearm purchase, a waiting period of 28 days applies.
- During first year as a licence holder, a person may only purchase two pistols.
- Pistols required to be stored and transported as per the weapons act.
Gun owners: We are not criminals Local Gold Coast News | goldcoast.com.au | Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Hey Aus; this might get your blood pressure down a little after the 50cal insanity mate. Helped a bit for me