A cap on the amount of ammunition users could buy or possess at any one time was a contentious issue for Queensland shooters in the lead-up to the November 2017 state election, with many members contacting the SSAA concerned about the proposal. Now, documents show that the Queensland Police Service presented a strong case against the imposition of any limits, in a win for commonsense.
The documents, released under Freedom of Information laws and obtained by the SSAA, reveal the QPS warned the government that adopting ammunition limits would create “negative publicity” and noted “potentially significant resource costs...with limited benefits to public safety”. What’s more, it appears that ammunition has never been raised as an issue by Weapons Licensing.
The papers include valid points the SSAA has long raised with legislators; namely, that licensed firearm owners should be able to purchase ammunition for categories of firearms that we may not necessarily own. As the QPS rightly pointed out: “If the purchase of firearm ammunition is restricted to people licensed to possess a particular category of firearms only, an employee of a primary producer will be unable to purchase ammunition for a firearm that they are lawfully authorised to use.”
The QPS also cited “no evidence that the added regulatory burden of dealers of firearms users” would somehow result in “enhanced public safety or reduced criminal activity”. Further, the QPS pointed to possible logistical nightmares for law-abiding firearm owners, outlining how farmers and pest control volunteers or employees “may only make a trip to buy ammunition once or twice a year”, saying any restrictions “could result in negative publicity”.
SSAA Queensland President Bob Green applauded the QPS for its commonsense approach to the issue. “The SSAA has made it clear that our members and the Queensland firearms community at large do not support any proposals that further limit our recreation and freedoms, for no public safety gain,” he said. “It is refreshing to see Queensland Police sticking to the facts and evidence, rather than resorting to emotion and worst-case scenarios that lead to impractical and unworkable laws. I’m sure the state government will take its sound advice on board.”
Ammunition is regulated to some extent in all jurisdictions, with some subjective limitations on quantities and restrictions on only selling ammunition according to licence categories. Any mention of ammunition in the National Firearms Agreement was written in haste and is another example of the unintended and negative consequences of the document.