The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) today refuted calls by the National Coalition for Gun Control to ban handgun ownership in Australia, labelling their claims as both opportunistic and ludicrous.
The antigun lobby group’s calls have come in light of Monday’s tragic murder of Sydney security officer Gary Allibon. Their effort to tie in the attempted robbery of an armoured vehicle with licensed handgun club shooters is plainly illogical. The fact is, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology’s ‘Firearm theft in Australia 2007-08’ report, handguns owned by private licensed shooters are the least likely of all firearms to enter the ‘black market’. It is for this very reason that security guards can be targeted by criminals.
Of the 760,000 licensed rifle, shotgun and handgun owners in Australia, about 700 report firearm robberies each year. This is a miniscule percentage (0.09%) of firearms that potentially enter the illegal market in this manner. This includes thefts from security guards, but not from the police or Defence Force personnel.
SSAA National, and its 130,000 members, has always taken firearms security seriously. In late 2009, the Association was commended by Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor for its Secure Your Guns, Secure Your Sport and national Gun Safe Voucher programs.