A firearms dealer on the Darling Downs is stockpiling hundreds of rifles, pistols and shotguns in safes across its two-story concrete complex, but not by choice.
The guns, which average $1000 each, have been put on lay-by by farmers, hunters and sport shooters at The Barn in Oakey but are unable to be handed over due to a delay in the processing of permits.
To purchase a firearm, licensed people are required to undergo checks and have a permit to acquire approved by Queensland Police's weapons licensing branch, but some dealers and the shooting peak body say a "significant" backlog is causing storage, cashflow and public safety issues.
Neil Shields, who manages the The Barn for his parents Colin and Linda, said the situation was getting out of control.
"This has been the worst that we've ever seen it, and this has been the most concerning that we've ever seen it, without a doubt," Mr Shields said.
"It does also really restrict cash flow. You might have $500,000 worth of guns - hypothetically speaking - sitting in the safe on lay-by at any one time. If it's a 12 to 14-day turnover, then you're getting the final payment for that gun and cash flow is going along a lot better, but when you get to the stage that you're waiting 50 or 60 days, that $500,000 in the safe might have blown out to an extra 20 per cent.
"If this was to go on for another two to three months, that's when it would start to hurt us financially."
Mr Shields said permits had been "pretty good" until early July.
"We were seeing 15 permits come through, 14 permits come through the next day, 20 permits the next day, and then all of a sudden it just stopped. The week before last we got one permit in total for the whole week," he said.
The Barn is not restricted on how many guns it can store, but it has hit its physical capacity.
Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia executive officer James Walsh said they were receiving phone calls from Queensland dealers every day who were worried they were going to go broke.
"... I had a dealer from North Queensland tell me he has never seen delays this bad and if it continues for another month, he will have no option other than to close his shop," Mr Walsh said.
Dealers have told SIFA that the failure to issue permits meant they had no room and could no longer facilitate the National Firearms Amnesty by accepting surrendered unregistered and illicit firearms.
"This is a terrible result for Queensland's public safety that will see unregistered firearms remain in the community," Mr Walsh said.
Mr Shields also said The Barn worked closely with Oakey police but were unable to facilitate the amnesty.
QPS currently has more than 80 personnel processing about 1100 permits to acquire, 360 licence renewals and 330 new weapons licence applications each week.
In the 2022-23 Budget, the government funded the recruitment of an additional 50 client service officers to aid in reducing the timeframes.
A QPS spokesperson said growth in the number of new applications received has contributed to the increase in processing times.
The SIFA boss is blaming the police minister for the backlog.
"As Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan failed to address these issues when they were first raised, he is solely to blame for the situation we are in now," Mr Walsh said.
SIFA said it attempted to address these issues directly with Mr Ryan and his staff but their concerns had been ignored.
Police Minister Mark Ryan hit back at Mr Walsh's claims.
"SIFA is not being ignored. My office has written to SIFA confirming that the permit application processing times remain a focus for the Weapons Licensing Branch."
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