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Queensland sovereign citizen loses bid to carry guns after Rockhampton arrest attempt – ABC News

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Queensland sovereign citizen loses bid to carry guns after Rockhampton arrest attempt
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A sovereign citizen has lost a bid to reinstate his gun licence after attempting to get a Queensland police officer arrested. 
Queensland man Nevin John Cartwright's firearms licence was revoked in May last year.
He appealed the decision to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
In December 2021, Mr Cartwright went to the Rockhampton Police Station and demanded the officer-in-charge be arrested. As a result, his licence was suspended and then formally revoked. 
Sovereign citizens are part of an anti-government movement whose adherents wrongly believe all laws do not apply to them.
Mr Cartwright's application was rejected by QCAT on the basis it "lacked substance". 
Court documents show his weapons licence was initially suspended the same month as the arrest attempt because Mr Cartwright was "not a fit and proper person to hold a licence".
The judgement said: "Correspondence under your [Mr Cartwright's] hand has been received indicating that you hold sovereign citizen beliefs relating to the laws in force in Queensland specific to their non-applicability to yourself".
A month after demanding a Rockhampton officer be arrested, he again went to a police station where he articulated an "anti" COVID-19 restrictions stance, according to the tribunal documents.
According to police, this added to the argument he was "not a fit and proper person".
A QCAT member noted in the decision: "I am unable to engage with such submissions from Mr Cartwright on the basis that they are incomprehensible".
The tribunal referred to a letter Mr Cartwright penned to the Queensland Police Minister in January last year, where he asked to be issued with "all classes of weapons ownership" and "an open and concealed carry permit".
"I Nevin-John ask that you issue me with all classes of weapons ownership … I also pray for an open and concealed carry permit as the last act with royal accent [sic] was the weapons act of 1973 requiring no licensing for men and women not persons."
The tribunal found "Mr Cartwright has evinced a discernible view that the Weapons Act does not apply to him".
"I do not consider that it is in the public interest to issue a firearms licence to persons who do not consider themselves bound by the Weapons Act, and therefore consider that Mr Cartwright is not a fit and proper person … to hold a firearms licence," the decision said.
"Had I not otherwise dismissed the application for review as lacking in substance, I would have affirmed the decision under review."
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) told the ABC "… traditionally, these individuals sought to dissociate from society and refuse to engage with societal requirements, such as paying taxes".
The movement was becoming more organised, a spokesperson said. 
"Recently, we are seeing a more organised movement which utilises technology to recruit and connect globally with other sovereign citizen movements," they said.
"We are also seeing overlap occur with other movements, including anti-vax, conspiracy theorists and far-right movements."
Although ideologically motivated violent extremism (IMVE) and the sovereign citizen movement was not new, the AFP said technology had helped groups to proliferate.
Federal police say the pandemic created an "anti-government and anti-democratic sentiment at both the state and federal level".
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"By extension, the AFP has further witnessed recruitment occurring not only in encrypted messaging platforms, but also on mainstream social media channels, thereby suggesting this is also reaching a broader audience," the AFP spokesperson said.
They said the federal law enforcement authority is now refining "traditional counter-terrorism strategies to ensure our responses to emerging risks posed by IMVE are fit for purpose".
This includes increasing community engagement and enhancing counter-terrorism online capabilities.
"The AFP has disrupted a small number of individuals suspected of adhering to an IMVE ideology embracing this doctrine," the spokesperson said.
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)


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