Firearms. Bev Lacey

Why Warwick is one of Qld's most heavily armed places

WARWICK is one of the most heavily armed regions in Queensland, with one licensed firearm for every 1.6 residents.

The Daily News can exclusively reveal the Rose City has 1802 licensed gun owners, with 7334 firearms between them.

When divided by population, the gun to people ratio in Warwick is higher than Toowoomba.

In Toowoomba there were almost 16,000 registered firearms.

Across the Darling Downs there were more than 70,000 registered firearms.

There were 51 firearms reported stolen on the Darling Downs in 2013, down from 95 guns stolen in 2012.

But residents can take heart in the strict criteria for legal gun ownership in Queensland.'

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While anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a Queensland Weapons Licence, applicants must satisfy strict criteria.

A Queensland Police Service spokesman said applicants needed to have a genuine reason for licence such as recreational shooting, business use, manufacturing or primary production.

"The applicant needs to be deemed a fit and proper person with no conviction of a disqualifying offence within the past five years such as misuse of drugs, misuse of weapons, threatening violence or being the subject of a domestic violence protection order," he said.

"They also need to have access to secure storage and demonstrate appropriate training in the safe use of firearms.

"Specific documents and identification records are also required to support the application."

The penalties for unlawful possession of a firearm include a maximum penalty of 13 years jail or a $58,900 fine, dependent on the type and number of unregistered firearms in possession.