It seems the Australian Greens Party just can’t help itself. New South Wales Greens politician and notorious anti-gunner David Shoebridge once again seized the opportunity to attack the legitimate ownership of licensed, registered and regulated firearms in what can only be described as a political stunt to alarm everyday Australians about our chosen pastime.
The SSAA, along with the more than one million licensed firearm owners, was shocked when a successful Freedom of Information (FoI) bid by the NSW Greens gave the party access to highly sensitive information regarding how many firearms licences are held per postcode across NSW and the top 100 “private arsenals”. The result of this FoI led to the creation of the Too Many Guns website, where users can find out exactly how many registered firearms exist in their NSW suburb.
SSAA NSW issued this press release criticising the NSW Greens politician and describing the moves as “nothing but a cheap political stunt based on misleading and unsubstantiated statements regarding legal firearms ownership”. The first criticism of this is that the top 100 licence holders include dealer licences, which therefore includes gunshops, along with businesses, which includes security licences. The second area of concern is that the release of this information is a clear breach of privacy, as firearms registries are meant to be protected for security reasons. The third is that this information is now in the hands of criminals who can now target smaller suburbs and easily identify the homes of licensed firearm owners.
But it didn’t stop there. The Greens then released a so-called “statistical analysis” of these figures, claiming that the more firearms per suburb, the more “violent crime” there is. This authorless document appears to have used the figures from the FoI request and statistics relating to violent crime incidents to come up with this so-called “mathematical snapshot”. To add insult to injury, the report was quickly found to be false when the latest figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) found robbery with a firearm was down 41.8 per cent and the majority of other “violent crimes” were also recording downward trends.
Licensed firearm owners across the nation are rightly insulted by such garbage, with SSAA National President Geoff Jones labelling it as “a disingenuous strategy marginally falling short of absolute dishonesty”. “This nameless report is absolute amateur nonsense,” he said. “While thankfully it appears that the false claims in this report haven’t garnered much media attention, the SSAA is always concerned that the people who read such rubbish may take it as gospel.”
As the SSAA-LA, along with our SSAA state and territory counterparts, continue to publically counter such bullish claims, the noise made by our members to combat mistruths and defend our sport with gusto, particularly on social media and talkback radio, hasn’t gone unnoticed. In the lead-up to the Federal Election, the SSAA-LA has reached out to the Greens party to invite them to submit their views on the shooting sports, hunting and firearms for our election coverage. We are still waiting on any form of response.