Victims group passes up Qld gun panel spot
A VICTIMS support group says it doesn't mind being overlooked for a Queensland government advisory panel aimed at changing gun licensing laws.
The Newman government initially announced a six-member panel, made up of pro-gun lobbyists and gun shop owners, to look at ways to cut red tape faced by gun owners when renewing licences.
The Queensland Police Union was later invited to join after it criticised the government for stacking the advisory panel with people linked to the gun lobby.
Union president Ian Leavers said he would accept the invitation, but more needed to be done to balance the panel.
He said the inclusion of Pistol Shooting Queensland and Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group would "provide a full spectrum of views".
But the support group's general manager Ross Thompson says he doesn't see a need to be included on the panel.
Mr Thompson said Police Minister Jack Dempsey rang him on Wednesday and explained the panel would not discuss relaxing gun laws, only cutting the bureaucracy around renewing licences for already approved gun owners.
"We don't need to be involved in that part of it, because he (Mr Dempsey) guaranteed me that the laws were not going to be changed, it was not going to soften anything at all," he told AAP.
"I feel quite satisfied with the answer I got."
Premier Campbell Newman said the government would make gun laws tougher, particularly for people who carry concealed weapons or sawn-off shot guns.
But he said the panel's main focus would be making things easier for legal gun owners.
"At the moment there's a lot of red tape and bureaucracy for people who are law abiding gun owners," he told reporters on the Gold Coast on Wednesday.
Now, unfortunately for me, this is in on the otherside of the country in another State (and gun laws are basically State based), so any changes won't benefit me directly. But I am happy to see that this is being raised and addressed in this country and hopefully other States will follow the lead in making things easier for "law abiding gun owners".
Source: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/victims-group-passes-up-qld-gun-panel-spot/story-e6frfku9-1226460794035 emphasis mine.