The Australian press has been on the offensive this week on an alleged seizure of more than 5000 illegal firearms destined for Melbourne. It is alleged that these were all due to arrive in Melbourne and then intended for national distribution.
On Thursday, Justice Minister Michael Keenan put out this press release:
He then, courtesy of Channel 7, staged this press conference where he displayed some of the alleged firearms seized:
Oh no, not a table full of handgun frames! Further, how can you have access to the alleged firearms if these firearms were “stopped from entering Australia in the USA” as he claims?
So where is the actual evidence of these firearms?
A seizure of this size and nature is usually reported on by Australia’s law enforcement agencies, either on their social media feed or media release page. This is especially pertinent as just last week the AFP announced their largest ever haul of cocaine seized.
There is literally no mention of this illegal seizure at all on the Australian Federal Police or Australian Border Force website or social media pages:
The AFP did put out a press release last year in September which said the following:
“5000 illegal firearms” huh Michael Keenan?
There is also no mention of this on the BATF’s website in the United States:
Only one result was returned for any seizure by the BATF in the last twelve months: a Kansas man who tried to export firearms to several countries, including one .22 Walther pistol to Victoria. Hardly 5000 illegal firearms.
A Google search does not return any results for news media in relation to this story in the USA, only Australian news sources.
It appears that Keenan has attempted to deliberately conflate this seizure with the Geelong seizure in September 2016 as mentioned above.
And now here comes “muh convincing infographic” from Channel 7:
So now they’re saying that it’s 5273 total over a two year time period and not 5000 in one shipment. Are we really also supposed to believe that New South Wales, with daily gun and violent crime, has only had 101 firearms seized while Victoria has on the order of 50 times higher over the same time period? Even if that number is correct how is that any kind of “victory” in NSW given the gun crime?
No source on any of these “statistics” has been provided.
Are also meant to believe that Keenan has the illegal firearm importation issue under control when just last month NSW Police were admitting they have lost the illegal drug importation war , ex-AFP officers are now calling for decriminalisation of some drugs and that regional airports are being used to smuggle in illegal firearms?
The mental gymnastics here are something but hey, put in a neurolinguistically trained Channel 7 reporter, some stock footage of some display firearms on a table, and yourself and some law enforcement official nodding in agreement as if you know what you’re talking about and it seems legit right?
Until solid evidence to the contrary is presented, we’re calling this 100% #FakeNews and Michael Keenan has purely staged a PR stunt. No evidence or source of statistics for this seizure have been provided. Keenan is still salty that his firearms trafficking mandatory sentencing bill was voted down in the Senate and has since attempted to wage a PR campaign to get it back for discussion.
In our view, this is also a deliberate attempt at distraction from the theft at Barry and Son’s in Western Australia. Which probably explains why this media release was so poorly thought out, it looks hastily put together to re-assure the building public cynicism to the National Firearms Agreement.
Keenan should have been sacked for his collusion with Tony Abbott in the Adlergate fiasco. He definitely should be sacked after this amateur stunt.
Oh wait, better put some bikie club colours in the shot for some more street cred: