More on Australian “Random Safety Audits”
Also via Ravenwood.
It seems that, due to some protests, the inspections aren’t going to be “random” after all. No, the police are going to have to make appointments with the licensees:
POLICE firearm safety audits will not be carried out randomly and will be done in co-operation with the licensed owners.
The Member for New England, Tony Windsor, said the motives of police entering homes of legitimate firearms owners had to be questioned following reports that police were carrying out inspections without first seeking an appointment.
Really? The motives of the police had to be questioned? But they’re from the government and are only interested in your safety!
Oxley Local Area commander Superintendent Tony Jefferson said all firearms audits would be carried out after a mutually suitable arrangement with the licensed owner.
He said the audits were designed to ensure that firearms were stored safely and properly.
Unspoken, though, is his frustration that if they actually make appointments the licensed gun owner will have a chance to make sure he’s in compliance before the cops get there – thus making the inspection useless at catching non-compliance and allowing the State to confiscate the guns of licensees. (Paranoid? Me?)
The audit would include checks of storage safes, serial numbers and that the licence was valid, he said.
Superintendent Jefferson said firearm owners would be contacted first to arrange an appointment before an inspection was carried out.
“The police carrying out the audit will only be authorised to check all the normal safety aspects and have no authority to do any other searches,” he said.
But if they happen to see anything slightly suspicious during the inspection….
This is not about making breaches but checking on correct storage of guns and making recommendations if any improvements are needed.”
He said Oxley had the largest number of audits in the state for an area command to undertake, numbering at more than 5000. The audits have to be carried out by the end of May.
Five thousand inspections over the next three months. Assuming they’re not inspecting on Sundays, that’s right at 90 days – 55 inspections a day. The previous story said that ten officers would be used.
They’re going to be quite busy, don’t you think?
Mr Windsor said it was a breach of the Act if the licence holder was not present when a firearm audit was being carried out. He said another member of the family, who was not a licence holder, could not open a safe firearm storage facility.
Here’s something I don’t think most people are aware of: If a person who is not the license holder has access to the weapons, guess what? The license holder is in violation and the guns can be confiscated. So if the cops knock on the door and ask the missus to show them where the gun safe is and would she open it for them so they can perform an inspection….
There’s been one comment on the story:
Wednesday, 4 February 2004
RE firearms inspections
whilst I do not live in the Tamworth area, i had my fireamrs(sic) inspection in Penrith on Saturday 24/1/04. A policeman turned up on my door and said that he was there to conduct my inspection, at no time was I contacted to arrange an appointment, or advised that if it was not convenient I could have the inspection rescheduled.
I feel that people need to be aware that if the inspection is at an inconvenient time, then they have the option to have it rescheduled.
Good thing he was home, huh? And in compliance. He could have ended up like Robert Wilton.