One of our fans has provided us with a look at their submission to Tasmania Police’s storage proposals:
I write to express my objection to the new firearms storage proposals being put forward by Tasmania Police. In particular, I would like to address the absurdity of the proposal to make Category H licence holders install mandatory alarm systems.
This video shows two gentlemen breaching the equivalent of a Category C safe within 1 minute and 39 seconds. Even if this safe was bolted to the floor and wall, I would estimate a guess that it would not take them more than another few minutes to breach the safe or pry it from the wall with a decent drill and a crowbar. Can Tasmania Police guarantee a response time of 3 minutes? I doubt it.
This video shows a smash and grab ram raid at a gun store in Texas which had an alarm and CCTV set up. It didn’t stop thieves making off with over 50 firearms. Again, can Tasmania Police guarantee a swift response to events like this?
Locks only keep honest people out – if they want it, they will get it. Anecdotally I have had a friend have his dynabolted safe literally cut out of the wall – the crooks were in with a drill and a crowbar and were out within 5 minutes. This is not to say have no storage at all, rather, storage is reasonable to a point – the current proposal goes way beyond what is accepted as reasonable.
I note that Gun Control Australia have made a recent claim that “over 6000 firearms were stolen in the last two years.”
If we take a look at the data from Queensland, which was obtained by Freedom of Information, it shows 45% of thefts were of unlicenced firearms (ie criminal thefts) – Gun Control Australia deliberately omitted this from their claims:
Further, above is a table re-enforcing the point of data from 2005- 2009, also obtained under FOI showing thefts for Queensland.
I also point out the finding from the 2015 Federal Senate Inquiry which found no evidence to support the claim made by the Greens that alarm systems would prevent firearm thefts.
I further point out that the National Firearm Theft Monitoring Program was ceased in 2009 as the amount of stolen firearms was so insignificant against the total of legally owned firearms, that it was not cost effective for the benefit and was discontinued.
Even if we take into account the claims of Mr Roland Brown and Gun Control Australia, the latest Crimtrac Report states there are over 5 million legally owned firearms in Australia. If that is true then the number of claimed stolen firearms equates to 0.12% of the total of legally owned firearms. So again, how do you justify this proposal if literally 99% of the public are doing the right thing?
I also point out that your own crime statistics do not justify these changes.
The 2015-16 Tasmania Police crime statistics state that in terms of Armed Robberies: “Armed and Aggravated Armed Robbery accounted for 47% of total robberies in 2015-16 and decreased from 44 recorded in 2014-15 to 37 in 2015-16 (7 offences), the lowest level for armed robberies since 1996-97. Knives were the predominant weapon type used in armed robberies (65%) with firearms used in 19% of armed robberies.”
And with assault: “In 2015-16, over half the assaults (56%) were committed at a residential location. 19% were committed in the street/footpath and 9% at a retail location. The majority of assaults did not involve a weapon (83%), 4% involved a knife and 1% involved a firearm. The alleged offender was known to the victim in 78% of assaults.”
So, knives still remain the predominant choice for violent crime, with less than 19% of armed robberies and less than 1% of assaults involving firearms. Where is the justification for the proposed changes in these statistics?
How is putting the details into the hands of a third party private security firm of benefit to the public? As we have recently seen the firearm registry was used to great effect by criminals in Victoria who eavesdropped on Victoria Police to steal firearms in rural areas. Is this proposal also an admission of defeat for the firearms registry?
I also note that Victoria Police have been advising Tasmania Police on these proposals. Perhaps you’d like to ask Victoria Police where 200 of their firearms went ‘missing’? If the Police cannot be accountable, then how can you reasonably expect the public to be held to a higher standard than you?
Further, how do the current storage proposals benefit rural firearm owners who are several hours from a Police station? Can Tasmania Police again guarantee a sufficient response time? I would say, no. This single fact alone undermines the whole proposal and is similar to what Western Australia Police recently found in their review. Why should urban firearm owners be any different?
I would hazard a guess that prior to this proposal being implemented, serious crooks would be scanning and canvassing new alarm system installations and then targeting these places as such. Are Tasmania Police also now prepared for the eventuality that if they respond to one of these alarms that the offender may now be armed by the time they arrive, thus increasing the danger to Police members and the public?
This proposal is even more absurd considering our borders are wide open, less than 3% of shipping containers are inspected (even by Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville’s own admission). There is a plethora of evidence that demonstrates criminal organisations are importing firearms illegally into the country with ease, much like 220 Glocks at a post office in Sydney – why would they bother stealing from licenced owners (reflected in the data) when the odds are much more in their favour to import illegally?
Let’s call a spade a spade – this is more of the same incremental authoritarianism towards firearm owners that we have seen most recently with the Adler shotgun debacle. What this appears to be to me is a blatant attempt to make it more inaccessible and expensive for people who want to engage in shooting sports. In other words, you’re trying to kill off “firearms culture” from an angle other than outright bans. We know this has been the game plan of certain anti-firearm groups such as the Hobart based Gun Control Australia and nameless bureaucrats within certain public service agencies.
Further, Police are not there to make laws or lobby for them. They enforce them – that’s all there is to it. If Police members, especially at the Commissioner level, wish to politicize their views then I would suggest they resign and run for parliament. We live in a democracy, not a Police state.
The “massacre” argument is also irrelevant. As we have just seen in Berlin, someone used a truck to kill innocent civilians, like what happened in Nice earlier in the year. A deranged individual could quite easily achieve the same result with a truck at Salamanca Markets on a Saturday morning if they wanted to. So what really is the “public safety” benefit? There is none and it cannot be measured. Unfortunately, it seems in Australia all you need to do to justify anything is scream ‘public safety’ and this proposal is nothing more than that.
In closing, you can’t just keep playing the “Port Arthur” card – there is nothing to stop something like that from happening again. Playing that card makes your argument even more disingenuous when you consider the fact that Bryant’s firearms were illegally acquired.
On the basis of the lack of evidence provided with the proposal, I am not satisfied and do not accept as credible that the addition of alarm systems to Category H licence holders will be of any benefit in any way, shape or form to the community, Police or firearm owners. It’s an ideologically driven, immeasurable disaster. I personally can’t wait to see the excuses given should you implement this and gun crime continues.
I again state my objection to this proposal and advise you to scrap it.