Gun display in question

FIRED UP: Paul Fowkes with a section of his gun collection on display on Anzac Day 2015.
FIRED UP: Paul Fowkes with a section of his gun collection on display on Anzac Day 2015.

PAUL Fowkes isn't sure if he will be able to display his gun collection on Anzac Day this year as he continues to wait for licensing approval.

"I am still waiting to hear back and it has been months,” he said.

Paul was in the police force for 25 years and is very passionate about his collection.

He had a display of his guns at his home in Theodore for Anzac Day 2015.

"We had it all approved, no worries at all,” he said.

"We had 300 people come through and have a look and two diggers who were still in town and loved looking at the collection.”

Last year, Paul wanted to do the same thing but had to apply for the licence again.

"They made a decision last minute and said I couldn't display as many as I wanted to. They said I could only display 10,” he said.

"They are using their own methodology so people can't get licences.

"They either don't give feedback in time or don't make any decisions.”

The response came seven days before Anzac Day, leaving Paul with no time to appeal against it and wait for another response.

"It would have been an absolute insult to the display so I didn't run it,” Paul said.

While nothing has changed to the collection and Paul is simply following the licensing protocol, Weapons Licensing will not give him a straight answer.

"They seem to think a display can walk around and shoot people,” he said.

"It is easier to go and get a tank and a get historical licence and park it at an Anzac Day display.''

Paul owns Central Queensland Scopes, a gun shop business based online and in the Theodore newsagency.

He has been collecting for years and wants to be able to share it with others.

"I have lot of stuff, worth a fair bit of money, going back to the Boer War and more recently to Korea and Vietnam.”

Paul went to court in December to appeal the decision and will continue to fight. "We have the support of the local community and local police but Weapons Licensing refuse to give me a response,” he said.

"I have sent lengthy emails with documents that have taken 15 hours to write and they refuse to correspond, refuse to do anything and they just make it up as they go.”

Topics:  anzac 2017 gun display theodore war memorabilia

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