Concerns that the NSW Firearms Registry has been leaking gun owners’ details have been raised following a number of gun thefts in the state.
Five incidents in the past fortnight have netted multiple firearms for thieves, including one theft in Baradine where they took eight pistols and eight rifles.
Police claim it is unlikely the registry has been the source of firearm owners’ information, saying its network is secure and access is heavily restricted.
However, the Daily Telegraph quotes one gun owner as saying he was specifically targeted in a theft last October, soon after updating his address details with the registry and having a safe storage inspection by the police.
“To me it was obvious I was targeted with information from somewhere,” the man said.
Gun clubs and local knowledge are also potential sources of information.
The fears have been raised in the face of new the ammunition control legislation about to come into force in NSW, in which all shops that sell ammunition will be required to keep records of who buys ammunition what calibres they bought and where they live – lists that will be a boon to gun thieves.
Theft rates may soar if those records get into the wrong hands.
The Telegraph’s report that 50 firearms have been stolen in the past 16 days has prompted Greens MLC David Shoebridge to reiterate his party’s call for the government to “put a brake on the emerging gun culture in NSW”.