Media Release: 29 May 2012
NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher continues to claim that illegal firearms in NSW are predominantly coming from overseas, despite evidence to the contrary from the Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare.
Minister Gallacher has even refused to check the source of firearms used in drive-by shootings when questioned by Greens NSW MP and Firearms spokesperson David Shoebridge.
"To appease the Shooters Party in NSW Parliament the NSW Police Minister continues to credit guns used in crime to illegal imports, despite federal evidence to the contrary," Mr Shoebridge said
"Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare has made it clear that most illegal guns come from the domestic black market, including firearms which were not declared in the 1996 gun buyback.
"Others have been sourced from dishonest firearms dealers or have been stolen from registered firearms owners.
"While some importation of illegal firearms occurs on an 'opportunistic' and 'ad hoc' basis, the local black market is clearly an issue; it is disgraceful that due to political pressure the Police Minister is continuing to ignore it.
"When asked questions on notice about where guns used in drive-by shootings came from, Minister Gallacher said that sourcing this information would be an 'unreasonable diversion of police resources'.
"Working out how many of the guns used in drive by shootings were stolen from licensed forearms owners is crucial to working out a response to firearms crime.
"The federal government has done some of the NSW Police Minister's job for him, concluding that 99 per cent of weapons used in illegal shootings were stolen from local sources, not imported.
"We have to ask whether the Police Minister's continued inaction on this issue stems from a desire to not upset the Shooters Party in NSW Parliament.
"Given the amount of community concern about drive-by shootings in this State, it is astounding that the Police Minister hasn't even bothered to find out where guns used in crime came from.
"The Minister appears to have his head in the sand on this issue which has serious consequences for the safety of the people of NSW," Mr Shoebridge said.
More information, including the questions on notice, here: http://davidshoebridge.org.au/
Media contact: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376