Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Death of a Long-Gun Registry

Despite spending a whopping $2.7 billion on creating and running a long-gun registry, Canadians never reaped any benefits from the project. The legislation to end the program finally passed the Parliament on Wednesday. Even though the country started registering long guns in 1998, the registry never solved a single murder. Instead it has been an enormous waste of police officers’ time, diverting their efforts from patrolling Canadian streets and doing traditional policing activities.

Gun-control advocates have long claimed that registration is a safety issue, and their reasoning is straightforward: If a gun has been left at a crime scene and it was registered to the person who committed the crime, the registry will link the crime gun back to the criminal.

Nice logic, but reality never worked that way. Crime guns are very rarely left at the crime scene, and when they are left at the scene, they have not been registered — criminals are not stupid enough to leave behind a gun that’s registered to them. Even in the few cases where registered crime guns are left at the scene, it is usually because the criminal has been seriously injured or killed, so these crimes would have been solved even without registration.

The statistics speak for themselves. From 2003 to 2009, there were 4,257 homicides in Canada, 1,314 of which were committed with firearms. Data provided last fall by the Library of Parliament reveals that the weapon was identified in fewer than a third of the homicides with firearms, and that about three-quarters of the identified weapons were not registered. 

Of the weapons that were registered, about half were registered to someone other than the person accused of the homicide. In just 62 cases — that is, only 4.7 percent of all firearm homicides — was the gun registered to the accused. As most homicides in Canada are not committed with a gun, the 62 cases correspond to only about 1 percent of all homicides.

To repeat, during these seven years, there were only 62 cases — nine a year — where it was even conceivable that registration made a difference. But apparently, the registry was not important even in those cases. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Chiefs of Police have not yet provided a single example in which tracing was of more than peripheral importance in solving a case.

The problem isn’t just with the long-gun registry. The data provided above cover all guns, including handguns. There is no evidence that, since the handgun registry was started in 1934, it has been important in solving a single homicide.

Looking at just long guns shows that since 1997, there have been three murders in which the gun was registered to the accused. The Canadian government doesn’t provide any information on whether those three accused individuals were convicted.

Nor is there any evidence that registration reduced homicides. Research published last year by McMaster University professor Caillin Langmann in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence confirmed what other academic studies have found: “This study failed to demonstrate a beneficial association between legislation and firearm homicide rates between 1974 and 2008.” 

There is not a single refereed academic study by criminologists or economists that has found a significant benefit from gun laws. A recent Angus Reid poll indicates that Canadians already understand this, with only 13 percent believing that the registry has been successful.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Letter to Premier O'Farrell Regarding Ammunition Control Amendment Bill

Honorable Premier,

I wish to vigorously make my opposition known to the Firearms Amendment (Ammunition Control) Bill 2012.

This Bill will do nothing to eliminate drive by shootings or control the illegal use of firearms in NSW as the perpetrators are not licensed shooters and their firearms are not registered. This legislation is squarely aimed at law abiding citizens.

Similar legislation to the Government's proposed changes to ammunition laws have already failed in South Australia.

As this Bill now stands it is simply another costly paper shuffle for gunshop owners and a further burden on the law abiding shooters of NSW.

I assist a farmer controlling feral animals, namely pigs and goats, on his property in Western NSW. My rifle is not of large enough caliber to humanely kill feral pigs so if I purchase the ammunition the farmer lends me his registered .30 caliber rifle for which I am licensed shooter.

Under the proposed legislation the farmer will also have to supply me with the ammunition but has stated he will not do this because he believes that under the Legislation it will be illegal for him to supply me, a licensed shooter, with the ammunition! What a ridiculous situation we find ourselves in. The upshot will be me shooting pigs with, as we say, not enough gun. This leads to the inhumane death of the animals involved.

I must show my Shooters License already when I wish to purchase ammunition and then I must store it in a separate safe to my firearms. I agree with this. I do not need any further legislation to do with ammunition that will not stop a criminal from illegally getting his/her hand on ammunition. He/she will get it anyway. The law means nothing to criminals, only to the law abiding. Surely you don’t target the law abiding citizen to halt criminal activity?

I am a law abiding citizen who has now undergone two police integrity searches, one for my firearms license and the previous one, a probity examination for the NSW Casino Control Authority. Neither of these searches has declared me an undesirable person!

I would like to know why the NSW Government plans to treat me as one?

It would be far more sensible for the Government to simply make it an offence to give ammunition to a person who does not hold a firearm license. As I read the present Firearms Act, it is already an offence to sell ammunition to such a person. The Government should consider moving this amendment to their legislation and increase penalties for all crimes involving the use of a firearm but please don’t continue to punish the innocent whilst the guilty escape.

With this legislation there is a brilliant chance to grasp the nettle and really do something for law and order and the people of NSW by attacking the criminals, not the law abiding. We, the citizens of NSW, did not vote the Coalition in for the purpose of grandstanding and making life harder for the law abiding.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email and please raise my concerns with the appropriate Government Minister.

Yours faithfully

Pat Cummins

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


The Shooters and Fishers Party has challenged the Coalition and Opposition to get fair dinkum in addressing Sydney's gun crime, and back its Legislation introduced into State Parliament today to make it a separate crime to use a firearm in a crime.

The Hon. Robert Borsak MLC, gave notice of the Legislation today, and says he expects support from both major parties.

"This gives them the chance to actually do something about the current gun crime in Sydney, rather than compete with each other to see who can come up with the "toughest new laws".

He said The Shooters and Fishers Party has always advocated extra penalties for those who use firearms whilst committing a crime.

"Ten years ago the coalition, in Opposition, supported our initial attempt to change the Legislation. They now have the chance to support it again, but this time make it law.

"We want the law to regard the possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime as a separate crime in itself, not an aggravating offence, as the law sees it now.

"It will be a separate, additional crime to be dealt with separately by the law both in terms of the judgement and the penalty the court might impose.

"The Bill proposes that on conviction of the separate offence of being in possession of a firearm while committing a crime, the person so convicted will be sentenced to a period of detention NOT LESS than the period of sentence for the core crime, to be served cumulatively.

"This gives the judge wide latitude in determining the total of the main sentence and the cumulative sentence, but establishes the important principle that a separate conviction has been recorded and a separate, specific sentence imposed.

"The purpose of such a penalty is to make it inadvisable for people to use a firearm when they commit a crime," he said. Mr Borsak said licensed firearm owners are fed up with having to defend themselves from ill-informed comment about who is committing these current crimes.

"The fact is, none of those committing these drive by shootings will be licensed firearm owners, nor will any of their firearms be legal.

"The Shooters and Fishers Party hopes the Coalition has the "bottle" to again back these proposed changes, because they will impact on those using firearms in crime.

"I have heard the Opposition calling for "tough action" and "tough new laws' to deal with the current situation. Well, Mr Robertson, here they are!"

"And as for the Greens, if they stay true to form, I wouldn't expect them to want to get tough on criminals, why would they change a habit of a lifetime? Mr Borsak said.


The Government's proposed changes to ammunition laws have already failed in South Australia.

It is unfortunate the NSW Government did not consult with us about their changes. We could have given valuable advice on the way forward that would not see the Government being embarrassed by sloppy legislation.

The recommendation from the Police Commissioner on the sale of ammunition will have no practical impact on gun crime. The same Legislation was adopted some time ago in South Australia and failed to do what that Government claimed to be able to do.

The Shooters and Fishers Party is ready to work with the Government in combating organised crime, but not at the expense of licensed and law abiding firearm owners.

There is a simple, practical measure that can remove any perceived vagueness in the current legislation and which gives police the powers to arrest and charge criminals, without imposing undue burden on firearms dealers and legal firearm owners.

It would be far more sensible for the Government to simply make it an offence to give ammunition to a person who does not hold a firearm licence, or to a person not licensed for that category of ammunition.

It is already an offence to sell ammunition to such a person. The Government should consider moving this amendment to their legislation, or failing that, SFP will move it in the Council.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Media Release by Hon Rob Borsak MLC, Shooters and Fishers Party.


Gun control lobby must face facts: 

Firearm theft rate is falling 

01 February 2012 Shooters and Fishers Party MLC, the Hon. Robert Borsak said today that firearm theft is decreasing in NSW as the ownership of firearms rises, contrary to the misleading claims of the Greens and the so-called National Coalition for Gun Control.

He said that for more than 10 years, the theft rate has been declining in NSW, from a peak of 851 guns taken in 2001 to as low as 449 in 2006. "Meanwhile, ownership has continued to increase as the shooting sports become more popular among law-abiding NSW citizens, a trend that clearly demonstrates there is no correlation between the number of registered firearms in society and the rate at which they’re stolen. "In fact, based on NSW Firearm Registry figures, between 2001 and 2011, theft rates plunged from 0.137% of registered firearms to just 0.057%.

That is one of the great success stories in the fight against crime in NSW, Mr Borsak, said. He said this dramatic reduction in theft rates speaks volumes for the way in which responsible, law-abiding firearm owners have acted to secure their firearms and keep them out of criminal hands. “If we’d been able to cut the road toll by a similar proportion, we would be celebrating a major achievement.

Instead, firearm owners and society in general have been barraged with fear-mongering from the Greens and the National Coalition for Gun Control, which have both recently stated that firearm theft is increasing. "And their tactics are caught in the spotlight as final figures for 2011 are compiled, revealing what will probably be the lowest rate of theft (0.057%) ever recorded in NSW – certainly since figures have been kept.

Firearm owners in NSW are doing the right thing and have nothing to hide, which cannot be said of the people criticising them.

 “The Greens have an ideological hatred of firearms, while the National Coalition for Gun Control is a secretive entity that appears to have two members, does not accept new members, has no address and does nothing but pop out of its hole to make shrill claims and then disappear again, avoiding any questions that might expose its true colours,” he said. A summary of firearm theft figures in NSW has been compiled by the International Coalition for Women Into Shooting and Hunting (WiSH) and is available at this link:


The Hon. Robert Borsak 

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