Ahead of the next Queensland election, gun owners have joined forces to launch a state-wide billboard campaign in marginal Labor seats over the party’s “unjust attack” on legitimate firearm owners.
The recently formed Law Abiding Firearm Owners Inc. (LAFO) – a large group of licensed Queensland gun owners determined to fight unjust firearms policy – is spearheading the campaign with its first prominent electronic billboard, stating “Labor is Anti-Gun”, unveiled in Townsville today.
LAFO spokesperson Mr Chris Howard said Townsville had been chosen as the launch site to deliver maximum impact on Labor’s electoral prospects, with the three marginal seats of Mundingburra (held by 2.8 per cent), Thuringowa (5.5pc) and Townsville (5.7pc) located around the city.
“Gun owners are fed up with the Palaszczuk government unjustly targeting licensed firearm owners, with their non-existent consultation and ready agreement to enact the recently released National Firearms Agreement (NFA), which will drastically restrict law-abiding shooters’ rights while ignoring the criminals who misuse guns,” Mr Howard said.
“Given we represent Queensland’s 200,000 legitimate gun owners, we believe this campaign – and Labor’s poor handling of firearm issues – are likely to cost the ALP these three seats and potentially contribute to a state-wide swing against them.”
The campaign includes plans for local licensed firearm owners to hand out how-to-vote cards on election day for political parties that were willing to consult, and work with, the licensed firearms community.
Katter Australia Party state leader Robbie Katter said the state government had failed in its obligation to consult prior to signing up to the new NFA and they had provided no detail on how it would impact licenced shooters.
“It appears the ALP has only done it to please their voters in inner Brisbane without having a clue how it will impact licenced shooters,” Mr Katter said.
“The KAP will be fighting any changes that hurt licenced shooters including blocking any legislation or regulations that are bought into parliament by the government”
Mr Howard said more billboards were planned around the state, with the next site to target the safer Labor seat of Rockhampton.
Last month LAFO targeted the marginal federal seat of Dawson with an advertisement in Mackay’s Daily Mercury newspaper.
Polling shows the LNP’s George Christensen currently holds that seat from One Nation by a close margin of just 0.4pc.
Mr Howard said LAFO was outraged by Queensland Labor’s support for the NFA ban on Adler lever-action shotguns, which would see them taken from licensed firearm owners without any compensation, consultation or evidence-based policy.
“Shooters were appalled at the scope of changes in the NFA, including limits on the amount of ammunition a licensed firearm owner can purchase in any given period as well as a mandatory, 28-day waiting period for gun permit applications that will especially impact negatively on farmers,” he said.
“Other NFA restrictions on pistol club members and shooting club activities – as well as the removal of licences for minors, who were the future of the sport – would also have dire consequences for hundreds of shooting clubs around the state.”
Mr Howard said LAFO’s campaign was also in response to Labor’s support last year to remove farmers’ ability to carry pistols for stock destruction and deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s recent video mobilising ALP members to call for gun bans on licensed firearm owners.
“Labor’s anti-gun policies are being driven by Brisbane-based Labor politicians who are trying to appeal to city-based left voters,” he said.
“Their policies are attacking farmers and licensed gun owners, while making no effort to address the illicit manufacture and importation of guns by organised crime and illicit drug-trafficking groups.”