- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

New figures confirm rampant handgun use in drive by shootings

MEDIA RELEASE  17 April 2012

New figures obtained by The Greens and the National Coalition for Gun
Control confirm that in 87 per cent of drive by shootings the weapon of
choice for criminals is a handgun.  This highlights the failure of the NSW
Government to take any steps at all to control the rising number of
handguns in circulation in this State.

The Greens NSW Justice Spokesperson, David Shoebridge, said,

 "Police records obtained by The Greens confirm that handguns have been used
in almost 90% of drive by shootings in Sydney and in almost every case the
handgun was a semi automatic pistol.

"It is no coincidence that this rise in drive by shootings with semi
automatic handguns is mirrored by an enormous increase in the number of
handguns in circulation in NSW.

"The number of registered handguns in NSW has exploded from 33,858 in 2005
to 42,127 in late 2011.  That is a 24% increase in just 6 years.

"This Government needs to stare down the pro-gun lobby and reverse this
trend by banning private ownership of semi automatic handguns," Mr
Shoebridge said.

National Coalition for Gun Control chair, Samantha Lee, said:

"The figures confirm that handguns are the firearm of choice for drive-by
shooting because they are easy to conceal, light weight and high-powered.

"Handgun crime is spreading like wild fire across Sydney and the focus
needs to move beyond putting out spot fires.

"Figures obtained by the National Coalition for Gun Control show that in
just the two year period from 2009 to 2010 a total of 2,502 new pistol
licences were issued in NSW.

"It's time the Premier, the Hon. Barry O'Farrell called on the Prime
Minister to develop a national agreement to prevent handgun crime which
must include banning the importation and private ownership of all
semi-automatic handguns.

"All the research shows that the prime source for illegal handguns is the
growing market for legal guns and the government to date has done nothing
to address this," Ms Lee said

Media contact: 9230 3030 (**David Shoebridge) and 0418 491 459 (Samantha

*Fast Facts on Handguns in NSW*

·         In 2002 a national agreement on handguns saw the number of
registered handguns in NSW drop from 49,475 to 33,740.

·         Between 2003 and 2011 the number of registered handguns in
circulation increased from 33,858 to 42,127.

·         In 2008 the NSW government supported a Shooters Party private
members Bill that watered down gun laws by allowing unlicensed people to
shoot handguns at gun clubs, encouraging greater use of handguns.

·         From 2009 to 2010 a total of 2,502 new pistol licences were
issued in NSW.

·         Fired cartridge cases and bullets from drive by shootings are
recovered and reviewed by the Forensic Ballistic Support Section of the NSW
Police allowing identification of the weapons used.

·         Forensic Ballistic Support Records indicate that handguns were
used in 87% of forensic identifications. 95% of these handguns were self-
loading pistols and the remaining 5% were revolvers.

·         In December 2008, the Australian Crime Commission found that
firearms are diverted from the legal market to the illicit market directly
through theft including staged robberies, rogue firearm dealers and the
reactivation of firearms that have been listed as deactivated. The
significant avenues of diversion were as a result of theft and 'leakage'
from firearms dealers into the black market.

·         As recently as 12 April 2012 Adjunct Professor, Philip Alpers, a
firearm injury prevention specialist from the School of Public Health at
the University of Sydney, confirmed that the majority of guns owned
illegally are stolen from legitimate sources inside Australia rather than
being imported.

·         The only move to restrict gun use proposed by the NSW government,
a Bill to restrict ammunition sales, has stalled in the NSW Upper House
despite having a guarantee of being passed with the support of The Greens.

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