2 Million LAFOs

2-Million LAFOs In Australia? Surely You Jest ….

Owen Guns Masthead-Copyright Ron Owen
Owen Guns Masthead-Copyright Ron Owen

The redoubtable Ron Owen, of Owen Guns fame in Gympie, Queensland, is an ex British Grenadier Guardsman who saw much service in the name of Her Majesty in the past and he has been residing in Australia now for many years. He has been a main driving force behind the new Gympie Shooting Range Complex, as well as authoring the Range Officer’s Handbook and will soon be opening the Owen Guns Museum – a monumental undertaking from what I have seen.
Now Ron has always been at the very forefront of fighting for legitimate shooters’ rights in Queensland and nationally – he never stops – and his newsletter, the Owen Guns Bulletin, regularly updates shooters all over the world on politicians’ and their anti-gun associates’ moves to curtail our rights and what freedoms we as firearm users still have.
More recently, Ron did some research on the public records of Crimtrak, a federal government agency that works with Federal and all State Police Headquarters in compiling, among other things, statistics on crime. Of vital interest to all of us is a staggering statistic that has flown under the radar – until now.

2 Million LAFOs
2 Million LAFOs

You see, according to the Crimtrak Annual Report 2014-15 (freely available if you can google-scroll to page 41), the number of firearms licenses existing in Australia in that reporting period was 1,973,522. Now if you extrapolate that to now, it is not a long stretch to believing there are over 2-million now, due to the continual increase in interest in firearms ownership in most state jurisdictions in Australia. Below is an excerpt from Ron’s latest bulletin.

“When Queensland Police want to minimise the effect of the Firearm Vote to Politicians they have 200,000 shooting licences, when they want to maximise the amount of work to get more staff, or more money they have 600,000 shooting licences. Simple really, but this time they are not just lying to the media, or a shooting body, this time hopefully they have told the truth. As just after this licencing system began in Queensland back in 1997 Inspector McComb, OIC weapons branch, reported that we had 195,000 shooter licences back then and the Police admitted for many years a 16 % increase, so on that increase it look like the 600,000 figure will be the correct one.
As The Police Minister has used that 600,000 figure in his letter, not just to Charles but to his local Member of Parliament Trevor Ruthenberg MP and lying or just misinforming parliament is a big offence. They get removed from parliament for things like this.The Queensland Police know well that 600,000 voters and their families and friends can change their world. As only 2,445,815 voted at the last state election, Licenced Shooters could effect over half of those votes.We are no longer a minority. On page 29 of the Crimtrac Annual reports 2015 there was 1.9 million licenced shooters in Australia and 5 million firearms.
Latest figures from Crimtrac’s 2016 report, which due to amalgamating two separate systems delayed the reporting for the full year was Number of Firearms 5,798,980 and Number of licenced firearm owners 1,973,522. We are now in 2017, their figures would be already a year old so we would have in excess of 2 million shooters in Australia. Many people still legally shoot as visitors at rifle ranges and clubs. Many employees of farmers use firearms on their employers licence.
With 2,000,000 shooters in Australia, could there honestly be only 190,000 in Queensland, that’s less than 10 %, in one of the largest shooting states. Only NSW would have more than us, and Queensland has been inundated with ex-Victorians.”

This is cause for jubilation and optimism amongst the whole licensed firearm community in Australia, because the political clout we can mobilise can change the complexion on politics in Australia as we know it with regard to frankly stupid firearm regulation. As a percentage of registered voters at 13.5 million, 2-million LAFOs makes nearly 15 percent. When you consider throwing in the families and friends of LAFOs who may or may not fall into a voting block for shooters’ rights, we have a potential game-changing situation.
As Ron said, “I feel the worm has turned.”




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