Law change that would protect at-risk women

ONE of Queensland's largest domestic violence services has backed a proposed crackdown on the state's gun laws, insisting it would better protect vulnerable women.

The Opposition introduced tougher gun laws earlier this year that would stop high-risk people from acquiring, owning and using firearms.

Women's Legal Service Queensland has joined a raft of voices backing the Private Members Bill, citing the startling statistic that gunshot wounds are the third most common cause of death for victims of domestic homicide.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the laws targeted armed criminals and people with a history of violence.

"Queensland has some of the weakest gun crime laws in Australia and I want them strengthened," she said.

"The LNP's tough gun crime laws have been backed by groups which represent vulnerable Queenslanders who are most at risk of gun crime."

 

State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington
State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington

A public hearing into the Weapons and Other Legislation (Firearms Offences) Amendment Bill 2019 will be held in Brisbane on Monday with regional hearings to be confirmed.

In WLSQ's submission for the Bill, chief executive officer Angela Lynch wrote the threat of gunshot wounds was "more real" for women in rural and remote parts of Queensland.

"Although a major concern about the use of guns in domestic violence is the actual physical harm done, they are also used effectively in controlling, scaring and threatening victims of violence," she wrote.

"Greater control and accountability of domestic violence perpetrators will also lead to greater community safety as there is, increasingly understood links between perpetrators who engage in mass shooting also having a shared history of violence against women.

"WLSQ therefore supports laws that tighten regulation around gun possession as it may have a likely impact of improving women's safety."

Under the proposed laws, drive-by shooters would also be locked up behind bars for up to 16 years while anyone caught in possession of a blueprint to make a 3D gun could face 14 years in jail.

In another submission, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, which is one of Australia's leading children's charities, said it supported the Bill in principle, while the Catholic Women's League State of Queensland Inc also did.