QUEENSLAND has become the first state to consider easing gun-licensing controls, incurring bitter criticism from the police union that lives would be put at risk.

The Newman government yesterday established a six-member Ministerial Weapons Advisory Panel, all of whom have links to the gun lobby, including one of Australia's leading firearms importers, Robert Noia.

The panel is the first of its kind in Australia and will advise the Liberal National Party government on "how to reduce the red tape, delays and bureaucracy" that gun owners face when applying for a licence or a new weapon. Police Minister Jack Dempsey said gun owners were treated as "second-class citizens".