Pastoralists still waiting on gun approvals

30 Apr, 2011 02:00 AM
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Pastoralist Kurt Elezovich has been waiting for five months to get a license for a 357 Magnum pistol.
Pastoralist Kurt Elezovich has been waiting for five months to get a license for a 357 Magnum pistol.

IT is more than a year since pastoralists were given the green light to be able to carry handguns yet some are still waiting to have their applications approved.

Pastoralist Kurt Elezovich has been waiting for five months to receive a response about his application to have a 357 Magnum pistol on his Country Downs station.

Mr Elezovich runs 2500 head of cattle on his station in the Kimberley and put in an application on October 29 last year to get a license to have a pistol for use on his property.

He also had to provide a copy of his pastoral lease to show his legitimacy, which he said was a bit extreme.

He has made inquiries through the Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) legal office to find out where he stands and how far he can take the issue in order to get his license.

Mr Elezovich said he didn't understand what the problem was and why it took so long to process his application.

"I was informed the police have been considering the merit of my application," he said.

"And that takes five months?

"It shouldn't be that hard."

Mr Elezovich said he transferred another high powered rifle onto his license the other day and had no issues.

"It was done in three weeks," he said.

"I don't see what the difference is.

"I would like to know the statistics of firearms offences committed using licensed and unlicensed guns.

"Licensed guns have never been the issue, I bet you don't have to wait five months to get an illegal one.

"They are trying to make it that hard that people won't even worry about getting the license and just let it go, but I need a pistol."

Mr Elezovich said some people had an irrational fear of guns but he believes guns are not the issue, it is the people holding them.

"We see all of these stories on the news and kids are playing these games where they are at war," he said.

"The first thing you teach a child on a farm is to never aim a gun at something you don't intend to shoot and never point it at a person.

"Then you get all these games and the first thing they do is point guns at people and shoot them.

"That's where the problem is."

Mr Elezovich was charged and hit by a bull a few months ago and said a pistol could have helped prevent the situation.

"A pistol like that is the perfect thing for putting cattle down," he said.

"I was hit by a bull a couple of months ago when I was loading some cattle and I injured my leg.

"I'm not saying that a pistol could have saved me in that situation but it may have helped."

Mr Elezovich said he was disappointed that the process had taken so long and he just wanted a response.

"The worst thing is that it has taken so long," Mr Elezovich said.

"My wife, Nikki and I have spent a lot of hours on this over the last five months and I don't have the time to be stuffing around anymore.

"Give me the license or don't give me the license but don't waste my time."

PGA executive officer Ian Randles said he had received a number of complaints from farmers and pastoralists like Mr Elezovich about trying to get licenses and the delays they were facing.

"There are some definite administrative concerns and it shouldn't take five months for a response," Mr Randles said.

"One would wonder why it would take so long and I don't think it is right that Mr Elezovich had to provide a copy of his pastoral lease."

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