For the 2nd time in four months, Australian firearm owner details have been leaked to the public due to bureaucratic incompetence.
In contrast to the incident in Victoria just recently, Service NSW have sent firearm licences to the wrong addresses. From the Daily Telegraph:
“WEAPON stores are on high alert after more than 100 gun licences fell into the wrong hands because of a government bungle.
In a dangerous security breach that could see unlicensed criminals buy ammunition for powerful weapons, 104 NSW firearm licences were sent to incorrect postal addresses by Service NSW.”
The usual neurolinguistic tricks of “weapons” and “powerful guns” aside, this is appalling. Yet again, a centralised repository has become compromised and those doing the right thing have been potentially placed in harm’s way.
Why are LAFO’s storage addresses still on their physical licence? These kinds of problems can be easily fixed by it’s removal or by collection. That would require common sense and customer service though – both of those are in increasingly short supply in Australia.
Service NSW have announced an inquiry into the incident. If the leak in Victoria is any indication, which was “resolved” with counselling for staff and nothing else, we’re sure it will be a dog and pony show where no-one takes responsibility or gets fired. Accountability is the kryptonite of the public service and it will take Superman to get any kind of consequence form this.
Where are the smug cries for a national firearms registry from AMA President Michael Gannon now? Oh that’s right, he’s too busy working out how the Medical Board of NSW managed to let an Indian doctor practice medicine without a licence.
The point was further proven in the UK this week where the Met Police announced the data of 30,000 firearm owners was also breached – because of the Met Police themselves. Anyone still want to jump in and explain why firearm registries are a good idea?
But just when you thought that was bad, along come New South Wales Police announcing an explosives amnesty. Yes, you heard that correctly. From the Guardian:
“New South Wales police will seek to cut the volume of dangerous explosives in the community by giving a six-month window of legal immunity to those who hand them in.
From 1 May, police will respond to calls from the public reporting unlicensed collections of bombs or hazardous materials, ranging from homemade explosives to those smuggled out of commercial or military facilities and even fireworks.”
So, not only has the illegal firearm problem gotten out of control that we need another amnesty, it appears explosives have gotten out of hand as well. What a vote of confidence that is in our bureaucrats. Again, what kind of message is this sending to the public? Are there large numbers of explosives out in the community that they know about, particularly in this environment of the heightened threat of terrorism?
Why not have a Bunnings amnesty? Disappointing that this is not a bomb buy back, as fertiliser, plastic and wiring could prove as worthy a return on investment as steel pipes and wood were during 1996.
Firearms registries do not work and amnesties, while having some useful purpose for those wishing to legitimately turn firearms in (deceased estates, etc), are essentially ineffective in addressing a larger problem.
Perhaps the authoritarians at New Zealand Police, who are currently considering re-introducing a long arms registry, might want to pay attention.