Why do you need semi-automatic rifles, Australian Police?

The same NSW Police that disarmed David Dunstan after defending his family from an ice junkie, spent some tax payer funds with this PR blitz today:

Military-style assault rifles have become the latest weapon against terror and organised crime, with specialist police now trained to use the semi-automatic weapons “in the most difficult situations” across the state.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller announced on Monday that 47 officers from the Public Order and Riot Squad had been issued with the Colt M4 carbines and the squad’s other 50 members would be trained by the middle of next year.

Nice to see Turncoat Troy Grant at the announcement – the same guy that rolled over to reclassify the Adler into Category D but has no qualms giving NSW Police Category D rifles (no Adlers?). This is also rich coming from NSW Police, who have continually dodged our questions as to whether firearm self-defence is legal in NSW.

Apart from the usual rampant dickheadedness from the Australian mainstream press about “assault rifles”, this move is not isolated with just about every Police jurisdiction in Australia following suit. Victoria Police announced this a couple of months ago as did Queensland.

From WA:

WA Police will arm 100 more Perth officers with semiautomatic assault rifles to boost the frontline response to so-called “active shooter” attacks.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the decision was not prompted by any new threat or intelligence but, with Australia’s terrorism threat level at “probable” since 2014, the risk of an attack in WA was real.

Perth? Yes Perth, which has never seen a terrorist event, unless you count watching the Dockers play. Seriously, the last major incident Perth saw was perhaps in ’93 when Gary Hayes stole an APC from Irwin Barracks and rammed it into several Police stations. Other than that, why?

And in the NT:

“The Northern Territory’s Police Commissioner has revealed plans to send a unit of camouflaged, specialised police with military-grade assault weapons to patrol Darwin and Alice Springs at night.

The Territory Response Group (TRG) is part of the Australian Government’s national counter-terrorism taskforce. Commissioner Reece Kershaw said deploying the TRG was necessary to allay community concerns during the Christmas period, when crime was known to spike.

He said youth offenders were responsible for around 50 per cent of property break-ins, and the TRG would have equipment, such as night vision goggles, to monitor people “acting suspiciously”.

Deploying the TRG for break-ins? Really? Well that’s going to get real expensive, real quick.

Now before you go accusing us of being anti-Police, we recently tabled a petition in Victorian Parliament with thanks to Daniel Young of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, for all VicPol officers to be able to take their firearms home after an officer was stabbed in the head in a targeted home invasion. This was on the proviso that members of the public be given access to non-lethal self-defence tools to protect themselves against Victoria’s crime wave.

That being said, one can’t help but notice how there is an implicit double standard. The public don’t need semi-auto rifles but the Police need them. Need is apparently fine, as long as it is the state needing them and not it’s citizens. We’ve talked about how much of an authoritarian strawman argument “need” is at length before. They’re also apparently semi-auto rifles when the Police want them, but “assault rifles” when the public want them.

The questions about this move have to be asked: What does the training consist of? How often, what standard and how strongly enforced are the recertifications? What is the cost to the public? To be brutally honest, Police firearm standards are nowhere near as good as the public are told they are. They even admit it. It’s a skill and just like any skill if you don’t practice it’s no good, simple. Two weeks at the academy and one or two requalification shoots a year is not sufficient and from the report it appears the M4 training, in NSW anyway, is on par with this.

Another Hornsby anyone?

The questions must also be asked of how do we know these won’t be lost or stolen? The recent revelation that NSW Police left a Glock in a car, left another one in a backpack in McDonald’s, QPOL has a Glock and another magazine missing as well as losing a Remington R4 a couple of years ago. WA Police losing a few rifles and then trying to shift the blame onto every firearm owner in the state also springs to mind. And VicPol lost over 200 guns back in 2010.

In implicit terms, this rollout of semi-auto rifles are an admission of the failure of our firearm laws and incredible mismanagement of our borders by senior bureaucrats in Canberra.

Day after day, the narrative is spun that our Tough Gun Laws™ are so good we don’t need to be armed, yet here we have the Police demanding semi-auto rifles because apparently the security situation has deteriorated. As we and other commentators have said before, there is also a serious problem with our immigration program. St Kilda last Thursday night just the latest example.

This move is also creating further distrust between the public and Police. If Police and respective governments are going to continually send the message of further disarmament of the Australian public but demanding further firepower for themselves, then it is nothing short of a damning hypocrisy and blatant authoritarianism.

Aforementioned reasons aside, let’s also call a spade a spade: this is also little to do with public safety and a lot to do with an increasing authoritarian overtone creeping into Australian life. Australia has always suffered from convict mentality that allows things like this to happen but it appears the wardens at the prison are now going over the top.

Something about trading liberty for security that has previously been warned about.

The argument has inadvertently also been made for concealed carry. If the public safety situation is so bad that Police apparently need to tool up, what does that mean for the public that can’t even own a pepper spray and that are dragged through court should they dare protect themselves?

We’re not against Police having the tools for the job – we’re against them keeping the same tools out of reach of the public for reasons they also claim they need them for. Police can have all the firepower in the world, the reality is they’re still going to be too late when it kicks off.

Police and government officials have no more right to the tools necessary to defend themselves with than any law abiding member of the public does.

If the Australian government had any balls, it would follow the Czech Republic’s lead and allow vetted citizens to carry firearms for self-defence and shoot terrorists themselves.

An armed citizenry is valuable in the fight against terrorism and violent crime.

Ask Stephen Willeford about that sometime.

14 thoughts on “Why do you need semi-automatic rifles, Australian Police?”

  1. So much for ‘Advanced and specialized training’. The officer in the center of the photo obviously hasn’t heeded anything taught to him – like keeping your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire. for instance. How many more are like him? I can’t wait to see how they spin the first AD. In the meantime NSWP, how about you send the bearded one back to pay better attention in his training classes so he doesn’t endanger innocent people.

    1. Good point David and well noticed. When you do as minimal training as the vast majority of police do, it’s not just target acquisition and hitting the target accurately which is the only vitally important issue with firearms; it is also relentlessly practicing (and I mean practicing) gun safety. Using a firearm efficiently is a perishable skill, if you don’t use it; you lose it.

    2. as an aside, I’m not sure on the NSW laws, but where I live that firearm is legally considered loaded (it has a magazine on it – bullets or not, it’s considered loaded), it also appears to be pointed at his own foot.

      So, to recap – the highly trained, longarms qualified, NSW Police specialist has a magazine on his M4, finger on the trigger and is pointing the gun at his own foot.

      I had a CSM back in the 80s who worked with NSW Police TRG for about a month (to try to get them up to speed), he came back afterward and told us “if you ever get into a hostage situation, try to get yourself out of it, those chaps* will get you killed” little seems to have changed.

      * He didn’t call them chaps, but it did start with a C and end with an S.

  2. @ Harry Buttle-so easy to call names, so hard to step back and look for yourself.
    Lohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGHXjO8wHsAok here for example:

    1. I can certainly see myself commiting 2.5 hrs of my life to watching tinfoil hattery that has nothing to do with Australia…

      I know people who were at port arthur, a good friend of mine worked in a shop Bryant frequented and she, and the other staff, were scared sh*tless of him.

      The Police bungled the response to Port Arthur, the Govt exploited the actions of one man, but it doesn’t make it a conspiracy (Never attribute to malice, that which can be adequately explained by incompetence).

      Also, it is easy to call phantom names because he is a gutless, whinging scumbag who demands that others put their money on the line to get the outcome he wants, but won’t put a brass razoo of his own on the line. I get the right to call do nothing POS like that names because I put hundreds of my own dollars on the line (life membership of the shooters union) to push for those rights.

      Any further questions? no. you’re welcome.

      1. Well, Harry, if you couldn’t be bothered spending 2 1/2 hours examining something other than the official line for the most important issue Australian gun owners face, that’s sad, but there are other, less strenuous options.

        For example, you could watch this ten-minute video that shines a very unwelcome light on Sen, Stephen Parry’s involvement in the PAM-


        Any fool can see there’s about a million holes in the official story, many of which destroy it on their own, and this is one of them.

        After your epic viewing session, you might like to go over to Wikipedia and look Parry up.

        Naturally, to read the article you wouldn’t know there are allegations about his prior knowledge of the PAM, even reported critically.

        Not only that, though, there’s a major anomaly in the time line of his career:

        “Parry was born on 31 October 1960 in Burnie, Tasmania,..:

        Okay, fine, but then:

        “Parry was employed as an officer with the Tasmanian Police from 1977 to 1986,”

        Using the information provided by the article itself. we have Parry’s age for most of 1977 as sixteen. He was sixteen years old and working as a police officer-yeah, right.

        Returning to the PAM,I wonder if in Parry’s case, the citizenship problem was only a reason to retire him from the public spotlight and that the real reason were the allegations about his foreknowledge of the massacre.

        1. Laura, whilst I am a great fan of tinfoil hattery, I know people who were there. I wouldn’t be hanging my (tinfoil) hat on a misprint if I were you.
          D.O.B and/or work start dates are frequently misquoted and, around 1980/81 I myself used to lie about my age when applying for jobs, so that might also be the case here (back then it was a lot easier to get away with).
          Now, shall we talk about the moon landings, Kennedy assasination or do you have a different conspiracy theory you want to discredit sane firearms owners by rolling out?

          1. I ‘m glad you didn’t ignore my observations about Parry’s age in 1977. When you are defending the dates for Stephen Parry’s employment in the Tasmania Police, you are ipso facto admitting that it’s something that is worth responding to.
            Of course, dates are frequently misquoted and it’s only Wikipedia, but how hard could it be to rectify? Don’t you think Parry and his staff, or family, would have read his Wikipedia entry and asked for it to be corrected if the dates were wrong? It’s not as though the time of commencement of his employment history should be some anomalous, contoversial thing, Or should it?
            I can tell you now I’d be stoked if had a Wikipedia page and I’d certainly read it, and if there was some uncontroversial detail that was wrong, I’d want it rectified.
            What about the film I linked to? Were you able to spare ten minutes of your life and watch that film I linked to?
            I made no claims about the moon landings or anything else; you seem awfully keen to change the subject.

          2. You have got to be shitting me Laura, you think that a wikipedia article constitutes grounds for an inquiry – a mate of mine edited the Huon Valley entry some years ago to say that they were considering the introduction of opposable thumbs and worshipping oggy the river god (in his defence, he was quite pissed when he did it).

            The fact that you are so insecure as to care what someone would post about you on wikipedia is a matter that I’d suggest you keep to yourself.

            You are a batshit crazy conspiracy theorist, it is idiots like you that the media look to to discredit reasonable firearms owners.
            The likes of you and your stupidity makes it an uphill battle to convince the general public that we are, as a rule of thumb, normal, average everyday people.

            It is time for you to grow up, take off the tinfoil hat and start dealing with reality.

  3. A Wikipedia article constituting grounds for an inquiry? Why not, unless there’s a good explanation as to why Stephen Parry was in the Police Force at sixteen.
    It’s one thing for any old member of the public to lie about their age for any old job, but we’re talking about the police here. Seems to me it would be a rather serious matter for any police force to find itself giving more than the usual citizen’s arrest powers to someone who hasn’t reached majority. Not only that, but the person given that authority goes on to be a prominent politician.
    Either that or Parry is at least a couple of years older than the unchallenged, uncorrected Wikipedia article says.
    Oh, before I forget, you know people who were at Port Arthur, do you? I do too, so there.
    You don’t have to believe me, of course. An anomaly in Stephen Parry’s bio is there for all to see, however, no faith required.

  4. During the 1971 to 1982 cadet system, recruits joined Tasmania Police straight out of school as 16–18 year olds.

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