News

For every two people there are 1.7 guns in Gympie

Kaleb Schefe staff member at Owens guns. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Kaleb Schefe staff member at Owens guns. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times Renee Pilcher

THE Gympie region may be a progressive and peaceful community, nestled on the cusp of the rapidly expanding south-east corner, but we still love our guns - perhaps more than anyone else in Queensland.

For every two people living in this region there are 1.7 registered weapons.

In Imbil, the ratio of guns per person is more than double that, with a population of less than 1000 owning 2759 weapons.

Queensland Police figures obtained by The Gympie Times reveal that within the boundaries of Gympie alone, as at May 26 this year, there were 18,243 registered weapons.

Throughout the region, taking in Kilkivan, Goomeri, Tiaro, Imbil and Tin Can Bay, there are more than 27,300 registered weapons.

This compares with about 600,000 state-wide.

Based on these figures, the Gympie region accounts for 4.5% of the registered weapons in Queensland.

Gympie gun dealer Ron Owen, however, says authorities are up to 11 months behind in processing new firearm registrations, so the true figure is higher.

He also believes police are downplaying the number of licensed gun owners in Queensland to avoid political action from a State Government that might suddenly realise gun owners represent a significant voting block.

Mr Owen moved to Gympie and opened his business, Owens Guns, on the northern outskirts of the city 34 years ago, drawn here because the region was so "firearm orientated".

He says that orientation has not changed much since then, in spite of the more restrictive gun control laws introduced in 1997-1998.

It's still a strong market, and getting stronger.

Apart from a small store at Bundaberg, Owens Guns' nearest competitors are in Brisbane to the south and Mackay to the north.

In the past 10 years, the business has sold 70,000 weapons, Mr Owen says. State-wide, the growth in gun sales averages 16% a year, and on the Gold Coast 32%, according to an article in The Courier-Mail two years ago.

Despite the seemingly high number of weapons in circulation here, Queensland Police say the process to obtain a weapons licence is stringent.

"To successfully apply for a weapons' licence, applicants must have a genuine reason to hold a licence, have access to secure storage facilities and have completed an approved weapons safety course for the corresponding weapons licence," a police spokesman said.

They must also satisfy a list of personal requirements, such as ensuring the person is deemed "fit and proper" to hold such a licence.

But Mr Owen says the system is too hard and labour-intensive, and that authorities are not keeping up with the paperwork, resulting in the long delays for gun owners.

"They've created this system and now they can't cope," he says.

According to Wikipedia, as of 2007 about 5.2% of Australian adults (765,000 people) own and use firearms for hunting, controlling feral animals, collecting, and target shooting.

Weapons

Bargara 1503

Biggenden 1416

Bundaberg 8411

Childers 2948

Eidsvold 825

Fraser Island 11

Gayndah 1553

Gin Gin 2469

Goomeri 932

Gympie 18243

Hervey bay 4849

Howard 1920

Imbil 2759

Kilkivan 1700

Maryborough 6476

Monto 1892

Mount Perry 280

Mundubbera 1301

South Kolan 2496

Tiaro 2568

Tin can bay 1094

Wide Bay Burnett total 65,748

Gympie Times

Topics:  guns



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

He fought off death three times in one week

THE BLINK OF AN EYE: Gympie son Scott Hoare in his hospital bed with girlfriend Angie by his side.

Gympie son Scott Hoare paralysed in tragic surf accident

MP's best wishes for 'man of integrity'

NO QUESTION: Gympie MP Tony Perrett has congratulated former Nations leader and recent political retiree, Lawrence Springborg, on a career marked by "stand out integrity.”

Perrett congratulates retired colleague on "stand out integrity”

Are agents undervaluing Gympie properties?

Letter writer questions whether Gympie properties are being under valued.

Letter writer questions values put on Gympie properties

Local Partners

End-of-year break-up for OWN

GUNABUL Homestead was the place to be for 62 members of the Older Women's Network on December 1.


Your definitive Gympie guide to school holiday fun

HANDS ON: Get the chance to create your own clay animals at the Gympie Regional Gallery.

Check out the amazing things to do over the school holidays.

GARAGE SALES: Where to grab a bargain this weekend

Several sales are being held in Rockhampton on Saturday as part of the national Garage Sale Trail.

Take a look at these treasure troves

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Respect and Christmas joy

RESPECT: Gympie's Mary-Helen Buchan (right) performing at the Memorial Park Rotunda with fellow James Nash Vocal group singers Hadassah Covert, Red Smith, Jonas White and Naomi Kassulske.

Gympie singer takes the big Christmas message to Brisbane

Star Wars spin off gets green light grom Lucas

Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen star in the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Lucas said to have enjoyed the latest Star Wars spin-off

BOOK REVIEW: The Mask of Command

This narrative from Anicent Rome has it all

The apple and the worm

Gympie journalist Arthur Gorrie.

Progress leaps along, so let's look first

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!