EXCLUSIVE: MP gunning for change to COVID closures
IF HARDWARE and auto parts stores are open, gun shops should be.
That is the view of Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders who has gone into bat for the region's firearms dealers and recreational shooters.
Mr Saunders wrote a letter to Health Minister and newly minted Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, urging him to reopen Queensland's gun shops.
In the letter, seen by the Chronicle, Mr Saunders said these business were currently closed under the Non-Essential Business, Activity and Undertaking Closure Direction, put in place by the Chief Health Officer.
The direction provides a number of exceptions allowing the supply of weapons and ammunition to police, military personnel and farmers, among others.
"While it is good to see this important equipment getting to the professions who need them, our local gun shops are still unable to operate to their full capacity and provide services to local recreational shooters," Mr Saunders said.
"These businesses are just like any other - they support local jobs here in the Maryborough electorate, as well as provide essential services to our primary producers and our community at large."
Mr Saunders, who told the Chronicle his personal friends had raised concerns about the restrictions on gun shops, said the stores were being treated differently to other businesses.
"You can go to Bunnings, you can go just about everywhere else," he said.
"I think it's time these stores opened up again."
He said gun clubs and shooters who gain permission from farmers to hunt feral animals on their properties were unfairly restricted.
"People can't buy a box of ammunition," he said.
"People are entitled to do it, they're not breaking the law."
In his letter to Dr Miles, Mr Saunders acknowledged the restrictions were in place to protect the health of the community.
"Now that there is a plan to ease restrictions, I believe the time is right to let our local gun shops and recreational shooters get back to normal," he said.
A spokeswoman for Dr Miles said the Chief Health Officer was considering the rules around firearms dealers and recreational shooting.
The timing of removing these restrictions will be announced very soon, she said.