Gun owners up in arms over release of statistics
A FREEDOM of information request by the NSW Greens has revealed data on gun ownership across the state.
The Daily Examiner duly reported on the statistics relevant to the Clarence Valley on Tuesday, April 12, sparking a lot of public interest.
Understandably, the figures of 7930 registered guns spread across 2043 owners, equating to 3.88 guns per owner, in Grafton's 2460 post code shocked many. This was in comparison to 6117 registered guns spread across 1790 owners in Lismore (2480) and 5802 registered guns spread across 1413 owners in Coffs Harbour (2450).
Yamba (2464) had 138 legal owners with 462 firearms while Maclean (2463) was home to 1564 guns in 435 separate collections.
Many of our readers took to social media to express their concern about the release of statistical information to the public and the impact it could have in the community.
Here are some of your responses:
Firearm Owners United: You've just shown that there are more legally owned guns in Australia than before and less crime. Who woulda thought?
Barry Powter: I live in the Grafton area and I own more firearms than the average. Each one has a specific use, I store them correctly and I have never committed a criminal act. Australia has a problem with violence and drugs, not firearms.
Thomas Czech: This media release achieved nothing other than letting criminals know where guns are. Let's move on now and get to the illegal guns.
Steve Parsons: It's the unlicenced ones you should be worried about. Licenced gun owners jump through hoops to prove their worthiness.
Brendan Palmer: Anyone who has had to jump through the multitude of hoops (red tape) to get a gun licence will tell you it is a difficult and time-consuming exercise. Most law-abiding gun owners do the right thing, and should not have to come under this amount of scrutiny. The illegally acquired guns in the hands of criminals are the real problem, and no amount of restrictions will stop that.
Julian Hopes: I often visit the Clarence Valley area to use my legally owned firearms in a safe and legal manner to take part in pest eradication. I'm helping keep an industry up and running and yet we as law abiding firearms owners are continually under attack from the media ... Why does it matter how many firearms someone owns? They can't be used all at the same time and each have a different purpose or are collectable.
Paul Hewitt: Highest rate of gun owners but what is the rate of gun-related crime that can be attributed to these owners? I know it's 20 years since the Port Arthur incident, seems to be plenty of publicity at the moment.
Dean Crouch: That could well make it the safest place to live then as these owners have all had criminal checks and storage checks to ensure they meet the legal requirements
Doc Bolch: Why are people attacking and creating untoward fear towards legal abiding gun owners?
Trevor Bailey: How about reporting the news and not spreading Green propaganda and blatant lies?
Scott Tuckey: Do you bother posting a postcode breakdown of registered legal cars? Because they kill more people per year then licensed legal firearms do.
Legal gun ownership statistics for each NSW postcode are available to the public at www.toomanyguns.org.
Guns per capita
- Grafton (2460): 0.28 (ie 28 guns per 100 population)
- Maclean (2463): 0.22
- Coffs Harbour (2450): 0.15
- Lismore (2480): 0.14
- Yamba (2464): 0.07
Owners per capita
- Grafton (2460): 0.07 (ie 7 legal gun owners per 100 population)
- Maclean (2463): 0.06
- Lismore (2480): 0.04
- Coffs Harbour (2450): 0.04
- Yamba (2464): 0.02
Guns per owner
- Coffs Harbour (2450): 4.11
- Grafton (2460): 3.88
- Maclean (2463): 3.60
- Lismore (2480): 3.42
- Yamba (2464): 3.35