AUDIO: Pests at large while farmers' guns locked away
PRIMARY producer Bruce Greer knows what it would take for him to lose his weapons licence.
It is why he shoots rifles on his Flagstone Creek cattle property in line with strict legislation which means his guns are unlikely to fall into the wrong hands.
Mr Greer is one of hundreds of land holders in the Ipswich region forced to lock up the guns they depend on to run their business to avoid opportunistic theft.
Stolen weapons are the target of Project Drift, District Reviews into Firearm Thefts, a police awareness campaign dedicated to recovering firearms stolen from homes and businesses in the southern policing region.
In the 12 months to June this year, 311 firearms were stolen, 45 of which were recovered.
Mr Greer said while strict firearm legislation and weapons licensing meant he was unable to use his guns consistently, he was confident the conditions meant his guns were less likely to be stolen and less likely to end up unaccounted for on the region's streets.
"I don't carry it around with me all the time, usually I'm on a mission when I use it. I don't have it in my vehicle all the time so sometimes I miss things, plenty of times I miss things if I don't have my rifle with me," Mr Greer said.
"How could they get stricter, what could they do to make it stricter, it's pretty strict now if you do it right. You're not supposed to cart guns around in the car with you and I don't but I know some people that do.
"If people abide by the legislation, it's pretty strict already. Rifles have to be kept locked and not let in the hands of anybody that doesn't know what they're doing.
"I would get a lot more things if I carried my rifle around with me but I'm not into that but I know some primary producers are."
Mr Greer said he relied on his weapons to shoot feral animals, including dingoes, wild pigs, deer and rats in the chook house and also as a humane way to kill sick or injured livestock.
He said legislation required him to keep them locked away when not in use.
"I'm fine where the legislation is and have been ever since I started," he said.
The Queensland Weapons Licencing Act sets out conditions of weapons storage including the material safes are to be constructed from and how it is to be secured, storage of ammunition and storage of safe keys.
Ipswich District Inspector Keith McDonald said the police campaign encouraged the community to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 with information on stolen firearms.
For more information on weapons licensing visit https://www.police.qld.gov.au/programs/weaponslicensing/