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KAP against National Gun Register

KATTER’S Australian Party (KAP) MPs believe the answer to more efficient weapons licensing management lies in the national uptake of New South Wales’ gold star system and not continued politicking around the idea of a “National Gun Register”.

The State KAP MPs said NSW’s electronic system could easily be adopted by all states and territories.

The party has persistently opposed the idea of a national database, labelling the idea as “expensive, tokenistic and politically motivated”.

It is expected that in coming weeks, the National Cabinet will finalise a funding agreement that will see all state and territory firearm registers combined into a national database, with both systems operating concurrently.

Traeger MP and KAP Leader Robbie Katter said the idea of a national firearm register might appease some voters but ultimately it would be a waste of taxpayer money.

He said the Queensland Government should be begging NSW to share their technology, which has been openly offered.

“The right to possess firearms is an issue that KAP has been dealing with for over 10 years and it’s infuriating to witness a government that continually puts effort into misguided ideas that miss the mark,” Mr Katter said.

“All the states have individual licensing and registration systems for drivers’ licences and car registrations, but they can all talk to each and there is no need for a national regime to sit over the top – a weapons licensing registry should be no different.

“All states and territories are capable of having their own individual systems that link to one another and share information nationally without wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on building a new federal system.

Shooters Union Australia President Graham Park said that although $200 million was the amount slated to build the national firearm database, in reality the cost could be hundreds of millions more than that.

“No government project sticks to budget and we’ve seen some classic examples of that this year alone with project delays and blowouts,” he said.

“If you look overseas at both Canada and New Zealand, both of those jurisdictions experienced massive cost overruns when setting up their national registers.

“Canada have already dismantled their database and New Zealand is currently undertaking a government enquiry to potentially dismantle theirs because of cost overruns and a lack of benefit to public safety.”

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader Nick Dametto said that community safety would be improved if measures were put in place that actually improved firearm safety such as abandoning the archaic paper-based register currently used in Queensland and replacing it with a digitised version.

“Making sure Queensland has a digitised system with real-time updates would be a much more effective way to reduce the confusion and backlog that exists within the Queensland firearms register,” Mr Dametto said.

“Some people might be shocked to learn that in Queensland we still rely on a paper-based system for everything from weapon licences through to permits to acquire (PTAs).

“There have been instances where firearms have dropped off the register or the information has been inaccurate because police are working with an inefficient, outdated paper system.”

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Man stabbed by youth and Traditional Owners study coral spawning.

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