The Palaszczuk Government will restrict access to high-capacity lever-action shotguns in a move that will strengthen Australia’s National Firearms Agreement.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the decision would improve public safety while ensuring farmers still had access to the weapons they need to do their jobs.

“We’re talking about restricting access to a small number of high-capacity shotguns,” the Premier said.

“At present, any kind of lever-action shotgun is classified as a Category A weapon, the lowest classification of firearms.

“What we’re doing will bring the treatment of these guns into line with other types of shotgun, such as pump-action or self-loading weapons.”

“This won’t prevent primary producers from eradicating vermin, but ensures that all high-capacity lethal firearms can only be possessed by the very small number of people who have a legitimate reason to do so.

This reclassification brings Queensland into line with a COAG decision in December 2016 to strengthen the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).

New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have all legislated to reclassify lever-action shotguns in accordance with the revised NFA. The other jurisdictions are various stages of implementation.

Lever action shotguns with a capacity of five or fewer round will be transferred from Category A to Category B, and those able to hold more than five rounds will move to Category D.

Basic firearms licences in Queensland permit licensees to possess either Category A or B weapons, so the vast majority of gun owners will not be affected in any way.

Minister for Police Mark Ryan said the Palaszczuk Government position was in stark contrast to the LNP.

“Tim Nicholls, Tim Mander and Ian Walker have shown no qualms about risking Queenslanders’ safety by watering down John Howard’s world-renowned National Firearms Agreement,” said Minister Ryan.

“At present, anyone renewing a category H licence to carry a concealed hand gun needs to demonstrate they have a genuine reason to hold such a permit.

“The LNP wants that test gone and has vowed to renew all existing category H gun licenses.

“The LNP’s election policy on firearm regulations is clearly the LNP sucking up to One Nation.

“The policy does not even include a commitment to the NFA and is a further deviation the agreement.

“Tim Nicholls needs to answer whether he is weakening our gun laws as part of a preference deal he has done with One Nation.

The Palaszczuk Government’s changes to weapons licencing will take effect from March 2018.