Freedom of Information documents obtained by FOU, courtesy of Firearms Laws Australia, has shown the number of negligent or unintentional discharges of firearms by Tasmania Police officers while on duty for the past five years.
Since 2012 there have been 18 negligent or unintentional discharges by Tasmania Police while on duty:
There is no data available on previous years.
Four of these occurred at pistol ranges hired by Tasmania Police.
One of these occurred at Newnham Police Station leaving a hole in the internal wall and another occurred at Metro Office, with the same result to an internal wall and glass. Two of these occurred in the Hobart Police Station Watch House, with the rest occurring at various Police Stations throughout Tasmania, most involving bullet traps.
Perhaps the most interesting incident of them all is one on 9 February 2017 where a Sergeant discharged a firearm into a sofa. While the information surrounding the circumstances of the discharge is unavailable, it appears it was from a seized firearm. Whether safety protocols were followed by the Sergeant is also unclear. Either way, no disciplinary action was taken by Tasmania Police.
This is interesting information coming from Tasmania Police, who have been leading the charge for more draconian restrictions under the guise of safety, particularly when it comes to storage of hand guns and appearance laws.
Tasmania Police were not approached for comment.