More doubt cast on registry safety

Serious doubts about the security of firearms registry data have been raised again in Tasmania, after three people were arrested for attempting to steal a gun safe from a former policeman.

Michael Dyson was woken as the thieves were in the process of taking the safe from his garage and chased them, forcing them to dump the safe. Police later caught the men they believe were responsible.

Mr Dyson, who is now in the security industry, questioned how the thieves knew he had the firearms and were able to plan what was apparently a targeted theft.

Tasmanian police denied the registry had ever been breached, telling the Hobart Mercury, “rumours of registry breaches are something registries across the country constantly have to deal with but … it is not the case here”.

It is clear that thieves can have a number of sources for information, but police in various states have continued to deny registries are one of them.

NSW police claim to have investigated that state’s registry and cleared it of any breach, but the Shooters and Fishers Party subsequently revealed the entire database of shooters’ details had been left on the unsecured police intranet.

In Victoria, police seized a book containing the details of individuals and dealers, which had been in the hands of criminals.

Shooters are beginning to agitate more strongly for the abolition of the registries, at least to the same level as Canada and New Zealand where longarms are exempt.

The flyer pictured here has begun circulating the internet.




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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.