Queensland gun reforms will limit access to high capacity lever action shotguns in a reclassification move that's set to strengthen Australia’s National Firearms Agreement, according to the state government.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said placing lever action shotguns in the same category as pump action and self-loading firearms would improve public safety while ensuring farmers still had access to the weapons they need to do their jobs.
“We’re talking about restricting access to a small number of high capacity shotguns,” the Premier said in a statement.
“At present, any kind of lever action shotgun is classified as a Category A weapon, the lowest classification of firearms.
"What we’re doing will bring the treatment of these guns into line with other types of shotgun, such as pump action or self-loading weapons.”
“This won’t prevent primary producers from eradicating vermin, but ensures that all high capacity lethal firearms can only be possessed by the very small number of people who have a legitimate reason to do so.
Coming into effect in March 2018, the reclassification brings Queensland into line with a COAG decision in December 2016 to strengthen the National Firearms Agreement (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.
Lever action shotguns with a capacity of five or fewer round will be transferred from Category A to Category B, and those able to hold more than five rounds will move to Category D.
Basic firearms licences in Queensland permit licensees to possess either Category A or B weapons, so the vast majority of gun owners will not be affected in any way.