Gympie MP Tony Perrett in parliament yesterday.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett in parliament yesterday. Contributed

Perrett crossed the floor 'as a matter of principle'

UPDATE: GYMPIE MP Tony Perrett has explained why he crossed the floor of Parliament last night and voted against the regulation to reclassify lever action shotguns, despite it having the support of the LNP.

"As a strong and vocal supporter of decent law abiding gun owners I voted against the State Labor Government regulation change to the classification of the lever action shotgun” he said.

"The stance I took was a matter of integrity to maintain and be consistent in the position I have always and publicly declared regarding the matter.

"The regulation motion was nothing more than a Labor Party electioneering playbook stunt to appeal to strident green lefties who hate farmers, graziers and sporting shooters.

"Nothing demonstrates this more than the orchestrated conga line of city based MPs from the Labor Party who spoke on the issue.

"Token comments about understanding the rights of those in the country was mere lip service because only one Labor Party member from a regional city dared to speak on the issue.

"The Labor Party is desperate for these green leftie preferences and are using hysterical and shallow arguments to demonise gun owners and users.

"It was an exercise in blatant manipulative politics at the expense of the little person who is going unnoticed.

"The Labor Government's position is unacceptable.

"I have and always will support practical evidence based decision making about gun licencing and gun classification.

"For me this was a principled stand regarding this matter.

"I am not afraid to stand solid in my support for the little person who is not being heard and for government to treat them with respect.

"I will stand up for them, and constituents across my electorate, on the matters that count.

"Gympie will not be a plaything of the manipulative politics of the green left union dominated Brisbane centric Labor Party.

"I am committed to ensuring that we have a weapons licensing system that protects the community and respects the rights of law abiding firearms users who try to do the right things and comply with the law of the day.

"As a weapons licence holder, gun owner and primary producer I will fight to protect primary producers and the firearms community rights against the continual attacks from the Labor Party. 

UPDATE: Gympie Mp Tony Perrett's decision to cross the floor last night and vote against his party was in support of a motion from the katter party that a proposed regulation to re-classify some high capacity lever action shotguns be disallowed.

There was some confusion around what the outcome of last night's vote meant for guns laws in Queensland, but the upshot is Police Minister Mark Ryan's regulation stands.

Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said this regulation to limit access to high capacity lever action shotguns in the community increased Queenslanders' safety.

"The Weapons Act 1990 is based on John Howard's world-renowned National Firearms Agreement (NFA) and includes the underlying principles that weapon possession and use are subordinate to the need to ensure public and individual safety,” Mr Ryan said.

"Although the NFA was born out of Australia's deadly Port Arthur massacre in 1996, it is every bit as important almost 20 years later, if not more so.

"The Palaszczuk Government has an added responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone who lives and visits our state in the lead up to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year.

"The serious issue of gun control and community safety is an important debate that has again been given public prominence in the wake of last week's deadly massacre in Las Vegas.

"Australia's gun laws have become the gold standard internationally, cited each time a gun-related tragedy occurs internationally.

"Community safety is further improved by imposing strict controls on the possession of weapons and the Weapons Categories Regulation 1997 categorises weapons in line with the NFA.”

Lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity of up to five rounds will be classified as Category B weapons, and those with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds will be classified as the more restrictive Category D weapons.

This reclassification brings Queensland into line with a COAG decision in December 2016 to strengthen the NFA.

New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have all legislated to reclassify lever action shotguns in accordance with the revised NFA. The other jurisdictions are various stages of implementation.

"The vast majority of firearm owners in Queensland are decent, law abiding citizens,” Mr Ryan said.

"That's why we established a Firearms Advisory Forum to ensure they all had a voice at the table.

"We have worked constructively with all stakeholders on a range of firearms matters, including how best to implement the changes agreed by COAG.

"This reclassification will improve public safety while ensuring farmers have access to the weapons they need to do their jobs.”

The Minister said the LNP Member for Gympie's move to try to block the changes illustrated the LNP's fractured and flimsy position on gun laws.

"The NFA has always had bipartisan support and I am calling for that to continue,” Mr Ryan said.

"This important issue is about the safety of Queenslanders, not votes from Queenslanders.

"Under the Palaszczuk Government, Queensland will remain part of John Howard's National Firearms Agreement.”

BREAKING: Gympie MP Tony Perrett sensationally crossed the floor in parliament last night, joining One Nation to successfully vote down tightened gun regulations in Queensland.

CLICK HERE: Perrett says there's a big difference between automatic guns and farmers using the tools of their trade

It is believed Mr Perrett has had to resign his position as deputy whip as a consequence.

The changes, agreed at a Council of Australian Governments meeting last year,would have re-classified high-capacity lever action shotguns which can hold more that five rounds as the more restrictive Category D.

The move had been criticised by Katter's Australian Party as a "stunt” not based on evidence.

Gympie community divided over gun control

READ MORE: Mary Ryan stunned at Gympie pro-gun campaigners letter to the editor

However, Mr Perrett's move is on the back of hot debate in his home electorate here in Gympie surrounding the restrictions of weapons licence holders and their ability to procure different categories of firearms.

"This regulation is blatantly nothing more than the Labor Party playing politics,” Mr Perrett said.

Tony Perrett
Tony Perrett Rowan Schindler

"You have to ask yourself why the Government is now proposing this regulation and to punish our law-abiding firearm owners who do the right thing and comply with the law.

"It is because it is no longer running a government, it is in full election mode as the Labor Party, not as the Queensland Government, which of course means that every decision and discussion will be with its eyes on vote chasing.”

Gympie is a seat where One Nation is expected to poll strongly at the coming election. One Nation leader Steve Dickson also voted against introducing the stricter gun regulations.

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