Victorian LRD debacle confirms that firearm registration has got to go

Register your guns they said. It will be secure, they said. This one from the The Age:

“Serious doubts have emerged about the accuracy of Victoria Police’s firearms registry amid growing concerns about the number of guns available on the black market.

Melbourne security business owner Michael Sloan has possession of 16 rifles and a double barrelled shotgun which, according to the Victoria Police Licensing and Regulation Division’s registry, have been “seized” by police. Mr Sloan, who is set to take legal action against licensing division for wrongly charging him with breaches of his security licence, said he was also aware of other security businesses which had wrong information about their guns recorded on the police database.

Another prominent Melbourne security business is poised to launch legal action against the police licensing division over what it claims was an illegal search of its business last year. The owner, who asked not to be identified, said LRD’s failure to update its own database had caused his business to be shut down, with significant job losses.

“Information supplied to LRD, which is later confirmed verbally, is still not being updated on their system. So they are closing down business because of their own mistakes,” the owner said.

A former senior officer at LRD told The Age that problems with the accuracy of the firearm’s registry were evident 10 years ago, with the most serious mistake being wrongly recorded gun serial numbers.The system hasn’t worked properly for a long time and these mistakes can potentially be dangerous for police and the public,” he said.”

An admission of failure followed by a recent example:

“An accredited firearm instructor for Victoria Police who also previously trained the Iraqi National Police, Mr Sloan said he could not explain why LRD had effectively shut down his training and guarding business since mid-2016. He said he had been forced to lay off eight employees and had lost at least $700,000 in revenue.

Mr Sloan’s problems began in 2016 when a routine audit by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority discovered some incomplete or missing records his AuSafe Australia business was required to have submitted to LRD. Mr Sloan said he accepted the audit findings and rectified the paperwork problems. Despite this, LRD put Mr Sloan’s business under disciplinary inquiry. This meant his training work had to stop and his guns were seized, making it impossible for him to provide armed guard service.

It got worse for Mr Sloan when LRD charged him with breaching conditions 8 and 9 on his security licence. These conditions relate to the timely provision of information to LRD about individuals his company was training for security work. But Mr Sloan’s licence from LRD has only ever had three conditions on it.  None of these relate to the breaches he was charged with.

Despite being advised by an independent expert in April 2017 that its prosecution against Mr Sloan could not proceed, LRD continued with its prosecution until last month when it suddenly announced all charges would be dropped and Mr Sloan’s legal costs covered. Mr Sloan is still waiting to have his security licences returned to enable him to get his business up and running again.”

Well as you can see, an absolute train wreck.

So how many breaches are we talking here? It’s hard to get a handle on just how many errors have been made due to the sheer volume of managing the registry, the lack of public admissions of failure by the state government and Victoria Police and the over 800,000 legally owned firearms and growing in the state of Victoria.

LRD costs Victorian tax payers nearly $10 million a year to run and if this is the result then questions need to be asked about for what benefit it is kept open, because it appears not to be in the interest of firearm owners or the community if such egregious errors are becoming commonplace.

There has previously been a suggestion by Labor to move firearms over to the Department of Justice, however, they are more anti-firearm than anyone else. It would not be surprising that these pieces by Fairfax are an attempt to sell that move and that would not be a win at all for the firearm community or the public.

Canada and New Zealand abandoned longarm registration (although both still register hand guns for some reason) after they realised it is a complete waste of time and money for no benefit. That being said, Quebec is thinking of bringing it back but that’s no surprise given it is looney tunes Trudeau’s Canada. If Canadians are reading this, then just read the above.

Firearm registration is completely useless – it is unnecessary, authoritarian bureaucracy for no proven public safety benefit and a huge risk to over a million firearm owners nationwide who have their personal details on an unsecured, easily breached database.

If the Australia Government cannot keep track of Top Secret documents in a cabinet, it has no business coercing firearm owners to register their firearms.

The solution is simple – keep licencing and streamline the process, ditch registration and let’s grow up and draft some legislation that actually works and not this lazy, expensive, inane authoritarian rubbish.

2 thoughts on “Victorian LRD debacle confirms that firearm registration has got to go”

  1. One minor quibble with this artice “If the Australia Government cannot keep track of secret documents in a cabinet, it has no business coercing firearm owners to register their firearms”, they were not classified as Secret – they were Top Secret and above (there are classifications above top secret) and many were further classified “Australian Eyes Only” ie sensitive enough that they were not to be shared with our allies.

Leave a Reply