QUEENSLAND POLICE have compromised the security of firearms held by licensed firearm owners in the Moreton area, after sending an email out to licence holders reminding them of their responsibilities to keep their firearms safe after what they claim was a substantial number of firearm thefts.
The email, which went to 528 recipients, was sent from the Moreton Patrol Group on Wednesday warning shooters to take care of their firearms and avoid leaving tools which could be laying around that could aid an offender and don’t store your safe keys near your safe.
That is sound advice – but the problem is that the email addresses were included in the ‘To’ field rather than ‘blind carbon copied’ (bcc) which means they are plainly visible to anyone else who received the message. A quick search on the internet can easily reveal who the owners are and where they live.
The security of licence information from firearm registries is hardly a new subject.
On 19 December 2020, the Herald Sun’s Andrew Rule wrote about leaks from the Victorian registry: the sub-heading of the story, which seems equally applicable to this latest problem, was “Guns are being stolen across Victoria at an alarming rate and rumours are swirling that leaks from police may be to blame.”
Yep, that’s for sure.
We know mistakes happen. Few of us can ever say we have never mucked up when sending emails to others. However, the current situation, whether accidental or not, has now placed each of those firearm owners in compromised position.
The only way we can see Qld Police making up for this is to either provide physical security for each of the 528 recipients or scrub the registry entirely. Only then, can shooters be assured that their guns will not fall in the wrong hands.