Another firearms registry problem has emerged with reports that the NT Police have lost several Glock handguns.
The NT News has reported that 11 guns went ‘missing’ from the police armoury, with recording errors to blame.
NT News breaks a familiar story
The NT News story revealed that two Glocks were missing, “possibly stolen” and a further eight were unaccounted for.
It says that five police members undertook a full search of the armoury building, including the roof space, but failed to locate the firearms.
The NT Police’s Deputy Commissioner Murray Smallpage told the NT News that two of the missing Glocks were the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation and could not rule out that they ended up in the hands of criminals.
Trust us ....
The Deputy Commissioner told the paper:
“I want to reassure the community of the Northern Territory that we (approach)
the management of our weapons with the highest concern and any time when
we’ve got firearms missing is a grave concern to us
Given the seriousness by which our lawmakers regard firearm laws, we think that simply saying they hold ‘the highest concern’ is far from good enough. Had a licensed firearm owner done the same thing, thy would most likely be up on charges.
So who is accountable for this, and what is the sanction?
Recently, NT Police charged an Alice Springs man who carried a firearm to ensure his own protection when he went to help a neighbour who had been stabbed. He did not lose the gun, and nor did he use it. Yet he’s now before the courts, while the officers who lost their firearms are not.
.. and it's noT THE FIRST TIME police have lost guns
The story of missing guns by our police agencies is not new.
VICTORIA: In the past few weeks, it was revealed over 100,000 guns were ‘missing’ from Victoria Police’s registry.
While possibly due to poor record keeping, it shows that good gun laws start with regulators who can do their jobs. Plus, there is the story of where Victoria Police targetted a dealer because they had incorrect data on 81 guns in his possession.
NORTHERN TERRITORY: Then there was the theft of guns from a military base in Darwin in 2012. In that event – and while it was federal jurisdiction – NT Police showed little concern about how our government agencies manage firearms in the territory.
QUEENSLAND: We recently told you the story about the Colt 45 that Queensland Police intended to return to its rightful owner, before losing it and then somehow selling it to another shooter.
Our intervention in that case resulted in some compensation being paid to the original owner, but it is another example of poor management of firearms by state police.
Given how Police treat any infringement or perceived infringement by a licensed shooter its high time they were held to the same high standard they expect us to maintain. After all they are the regulators who need to set the standard – and be held by it themselves.
If they are not, then what confidence can the community have in them, and the laws we have in place?
The NSC will continue to expose such misconduct and put pressure to bear on our politicians.