Region shoots high in gun race with licensing up
THE region's need for gun licensing is high and numbers of farmers doing the right thing by getting a licence is growing, according to Theodore gun licence trainer Paul Fowkes.
He said guns were essential for animal control on farms but licensing was needed to keep safety standards high.
"It's strict but everything is there to try and keep the idiots out," he said.
"There have definitely been more people doing the right thing by getting a licence.
"There are some people who are doing it properly and then some who go out shooting by themselves and taking excessive risks."
He said while laws and the need for licensing were in place for a reason, some organisations were trying to limit gun use on farms.
"There is a lot of negativity surrounding gun use for animal control," he said.
"The greenies, who follow an anti-gun movement, say feral animals are taking over but at the same time they want to take guns off people.
"It's double standards and you can't have both.
"It's a big issue that affects a lot of people and there are so many mixed messages that surround using guns for animal control."
He said the ethical destruction of sick and injured livestock, as well as feral animals, was a growing concern for gun licence trainees and was an important part of the training process.
"People shoot animals for lots of reasons and I hope they are the right reasons," he said.
"I always maintain it should be done right and with a licence. If there are idiots out there doing the wrong thing I will be the first to say stuff them and they deserve what they get."