WALL OF SILENCE: Queensland authorities have gone to ground after being challenged to put in measures to monitor gun thefts after they accidently released confidential firearm registry information of over 500 people in the Moreton area.
The list of identifiable email addresses was accidently leaked by Queensland Police in January, when ironically, it was advising shooters of the need to take extra safeguards to protect against thefts of their firearms.
NSC seeks program to monitor gun thefts
On January 15, the NSC wrote to the Office of the Information Commissioner, Queensland Police and the Office of the Police Minster, recommending the government puts in a five year program in place to monitor any firearm thefts from those owners.
This would have then enabled authorities to determine which thefts were the result of the leak, and which may have resulted from other causes. While this may be embarrassing for them, it would have provided real transparency and truthfulness over why and how gun thefts occur.
In the NSC’s letters, it recommended the agencies agree on a way to:
“monitor then publicly report on any firearm thefts that occur in respect of those 528 individuals over the next five years. Knowing this will help both the Queensland Government and public know how it came to be that those firearms were stolen”
The NSC’s representation noted that:
“there is a public necessity to know monitor and report on the effects of the breach.
”This is a real need for this given firearm thefts are often blamed on shooters, and used to justify more restrictions or interventions by police.
Government wall of silence
Despite sending reminders of our letters last week, not one of the agencies has responded. We’re confident this is because more gun thefts would be highly embarrassing to the government even though monitoring them to know why they occurred would be the honest thing to do.
However the NSC will monitor the incidents of firearm thefts in Queensland and ensure that the states’ politicians are reminded that any thefts reported in the Moreton area must be assumed to have come from the police leak – and that their own authorities failed to put in steps to determine otherwise when specifically asked to do so.