Greens panic as gun purchases double


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The Greens have revealed their desperation to turn the tide of shooting’s increasing popularity by publicising figures that show the number of PTAs issued in NSW has doubled in the past 10 years.

While shooters are celebrating the milestone as a success for their sport after years of suppression, the Greens are calling it a “problem” and repeating their warnings that Australia is developing a US-style gun culture.

Greens MP David Shoebridge has put the NSW Firearms Registry figures out in the public domain, citing the dangers of a “growing gun culture” and making unsubstantiated claims that the public is demanding governments limit the numbers of firearms owned.

This is in spite of the fact that figures show gun crime is falling at the same time as legal gun ownership is on the rise.

Dr Samara McPhedran recently analysed data that showed the rise in legal firearms numbers did not correlate with any increase in gun crime.

“There is little, if any, relationship between the number of legally owned guns … and levels of gun crime,” she said.

“More guns does not mean more crime.”

Shoebridge, however, refuses to accept that Australia’s post-1996 gun control laws may have little to do with homicide rates.

“Unless we start tightening up the rules to get a firearm, we risk losing the gun control advances achieved in the wake of the Port Arthur tragedy,” he said.

Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Robert Brown was not surprised by the figures, and said they showed how popular the shooting sports had become.

The figures reveal that the number of PTAs issued in NSW has risen from 29,618 in 2002 to what Shoebridge labelled “a staggering” 66,460 in 2012.

“This is more than double,” he said. “In just one decade, from 2002 to 2012, the NSW Firearms Registry gave 474,716 permits to get a new gun.”

He said the Liberal and Labor parties were “part of the problem” but centred his criticism on the “deals” they’d done with the SFP.

“If we don’t move to reduce gun numbers, and limit the political influence of the gun lobby, we will find itself [sic] heading down the gun-ridden and dangerous path of America,” Shoebridge said.

“The Greens are a spent force, and it’s this kind of baseless fear-mongering that has destroyed them,” Robert Brown said. “The Australian public can see it for what it is.

“The fact that they are getting even more radical in their calls to ban everything and lock everyone out of the bush, in the face of all the evidence that shows their ideologies are wrong, proves we need to unite against them in the September election.”


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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.

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