Sunday, December 14, 2008

Australia: Gun ownership up by 10,000 a year as State Government waters down laws

Having a gun-owners' political party gives heft

Gun ownership is booming again in NSW, with 40,000 new firearms registered in the past four years. The rise coincides with a deal cut by the State Government and the Shooters Party to water down tough gun laws introduced in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre.

Figures from the NSW Firearm Registry obtained by the National Coalition of Gun Control show gun ownership has risen at the rate of 10,000 a year since 2004 to 687,138 in October this year. Multiple gun ownership has also soared. The number of people receiving permits to obtain a second or subsequent firearm in 2006 was 32,616. In the first 10 months of this year, 43,095 such permits were issued.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics has also revealed that guns are being stolen at a rate of more than two a day. The majority are taken from homes. Despite the worrying figures, the Government and the Shooters Party have quietly agreed to a number of changes to gun laws introduced by former premier Bob Carr after the Port Arthur killings.

Shooting clubs will no longer have their licences automatically revoked for not disqualifying members who have been convicted of firearms offences. Previously, the police commissioner could immediately revoke a club's licence for not taking action against a convicted member. In another change, the mandatory 28-day waiting period before a second or third gun can be acquired has also been scrapped. The Government has also made it easier for men who have previously been the subject of apprehended violence orders to regain a gun licence.


OH: Man fires at robbers, thwarts home invasion : "A man thwarted a home robbery on Thursday morning when he fired gunshots at two armed men who had forced their way into his home. .. Josh Fields said he was awakened when one of the men put a gun to his head... Cassey Fields was also sleeping when the men broke down the home's front door, stormed inside and pointed a gun at her. Moments later, she said she heard gunshots."I heard two gunshots and I didn't hear Josh or my dad anymore, so I thought they got my dad," Cassey Fields said.The gunshots were fired by her father. After hearing the men break into the home, Ken Fields grabbed his own gun and confronted the two men."The first one who was at the door turned around to go out and I fired a shot at him," said Ken Fields.After being shot at, both men fled from the home."

MA: Gun-rights advocates stand by Worcester worker: "Antiviolence and gun-rights backers banded together yesterday in support of a Worcester liquor store clerk who shot and killed a masked man who allegedly pulled a gun on him during an attempted robbery. .. "It sounds like a clear-cut case of self-defense, which is what the Second Amendment is really all about," said Jim Wallace, director of the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts. "The (clerk) was properly lawfully in possession of a firearm. It sounds like a win-win situation."Forty-year-old Evan Louis Rivera, who entered the store with another masked man, pointed a gun at one of the clerks and one of the clerks fired back, striking Rivera multiple times, police said. Rivera died 45 minutes later.John Rosenthal, co-founder of Stop Handgun Violence and a rifle owner, said he supports responsible gun ownership and the use of firearms in self-defense."

The Mumbai masacre: It could happen here: "The firearms massacres that have periodically caused shock and horror around the world have all been utterly dwarfed by the Bombay shootings, in which a handful of gunmen left some five hundred people killed or wounded. Commentators have been swift to insist that we must all 'stand firm' against such outrage; but behind the rhetoric, the pundits have been visibly uncertain how an assault like that in India can be prevented or resisted. The Bombay massacre exposed the myth of a number of our security assumptions.For anybody who still believed in it, the Bombay shootings exposed the myth of `gun control'. India had some of the strictest firearms laws in the world."

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