Increased gun thefts from registered firearm owners proves once again that the primary source of illegal weapons in NSW is from the growing pool of legal weapons in this State. WIth NSW now having more than 750,000 registered firearms in circulation, legal private arsenals are becoming inevitable targets for criminals wanting ready access to weapons and ammunition and yet the NSW government refuses to act.
See report in todays papers:
NSW Greens MP and firearms spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“Surely now the O’Farrell government must act to put the brakes on the
emerging gun culture in NSW.
“This State has witnessed a surge in the number of licensed guns in
circulation with the numbers growing from 619,000 in 2001 to a staggering
758,802 in 2011.
“Not only has the number of registered firearms increased, so too has the
number of guns per registered shooter.
“In the last decade the number of registered guns per licence holder has
risen from just over 3 to an average of almost 5 guns per shooter.
“Despite claims from the gun lobby there is no evidence at all to suggest
that the rise in gun thefts, to 640 in 2011, is a result of a breach of the
police firearms register.
“These private arsenals become inevitable targets for criminals who can
identify where the weapons are by simply observing who comes and goes from
gun clubs and gun shops.
“With no cap on gun numbers, some registered gun owners clearly own an
excessive number of firearms, and their private arsenals are targets for
organised crime whether they are properly secured or not.
“Ever since the positive gun law reform of 1996 following the Port Arthur
massacre we have seen successive state governments weaken this State’s gun
laws in order to secure the votes of the Shooters Party in the Upper House.
“The O’Farrell government is continuing the trend of bowing to pressure
form the Shooters party and this has meant no action at all on limiting the
number of guns in circulation.
“There may be genuine reasons for someone such as a primary producer to own
1, 2 or 3 guns, but what we are seeing is people developing small arsenals.
It’s dangerous, unnecessary and it has to stop.
“Less guns in society mean less opportunities for gun crime. Reducing the
number of weapons held in private residences will work to limit the
attractiveness of gun theft by organised crime.
“We don’t want the next positive firearm law reform to come after another
tragedy. The government has a responsibility to get ahead of the game,
stand up to the Shooters, and make NSW safer now,” Mr Shoebridge said.
Greens MP in the NSW Legislative Council
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