- MAY 11, 2006


Good morning everyone, I couldn't sleep last night and channel hopped to watch the Senate on the ABC. Although I didn't catch the beginning but Senator Chris Ellison was answering a question about Gun controls  and  semi auto handguns and announced the Govt's intentions. He said they intend  to establish a new national firearms management system and had spent a Million dollars to investigate the best way to do it and would encourage the States & Territories to participate, based upon  the Victorian system which will include photos of all registered firearms and more details about their owners to establish a tracking system of them which he said  will be of assistance to sporting shooters travelling to or moving interstate.
Senator Bob Brown got up (it may have been he that asked the first question) and  said as the perpetrator of the Dunblair (not Dunblane) massacre 10 yrs  ago shot  & killed 16 school children with a semi auto hand gun; asked what legitimate use could they have except by security guards and a limited number of sporting shooters and mentioned that crimes with handguns were committed by those stolen from licensed owners. (This is  exactly the same line as Samantha Lee of Gun Control Australia Inc used on TV 9 on April 28th last when she  also stated that the leader of the opposition Kim Beazley was taking bribes from the shooting lobby and SSAA for publicly stating a few days earlier that the Gun laws were already tough enough ).Brown of course didn't mention that the grub who committed the Dunblane massacre was on  prescription medication and  was a sexual deviant and predator of little boys.
 One thing I did notice was that Senator  Ellison didn't seem to know the current status  of State firearms laws & regulations. He did quote PM Howard's recent statement on April 28th which was as far as he was concerned his initiatives on Gun control laws were a work in progress.
No one in the Senate asked Senator Brown or Senator Ellison for any details of how many and what type of firearms had been stolen or from whom. 
Hopefully our respective sports shooting and hunting Clubs can start lobbying immediately about any further new impositions/restrictions which will not stop any crimes or terrorists and are aimed directly at the good guys which are us. We already have State WLB registers surely these can be nationally linked and weren't we all told quite some time back the all firearms owners were already on the national Criminal Data base called "Crimtrack"?
One cannot help but wonder with all the  recent beat ups about Port Arthur again and the imminent UN conference on small arms controls if these questions in the Senate are leading up to further attempts to influence the Public to reduce their support for private ownership of firearms and support even more bans and controls upon law abiding gun  owners.






Senator BOB BROWN (2.30 pm)—My question is

to the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Ellison.

I am sure that he and all senators will join me in

wishing Sergeant Les Cooper, who was shot three                 (NOTE: Bob Brown used the injury of a

times in Tasmania yesterday, a speedy recovery. Minister,    of a Tasmanian Police Officer to create

in the wake of allegations that a hand gun may                       an opportunity to push his own agenda.)   

have been used in this callous crime, is the government

going to review the increasing loss through crime of

hand guns in Australia for illegal use and the increasing

importation of hand guns, including rapid fire semiautomatic

hand guns, with a view to ensuring that they do

not fall into criminal hands or are potentially available

for criminal use and use against authorised police and

security officers?


Senator ELLISON—Senator Brown raises a matter

which is of great concern to the Commonwealth government

and, I think, to state and territory governments

around the country—that is, the diversion of firearms

from the legal sector into the illegal sector


Finally, we are pushing with the states and territories

a national firearms management system. We have

committed $1 million to that, and it is based roughly on

the register in Victoria, which we believe is very good

practice in identifying a firearm, distinguishing features,

its ownership, its whereabouts, and photographic           (NOTE: Not clear if Ellison meant longarms are

detail of the firearm. We believe that with a national       to be included with photographic details)

firearms management system we can keep track of

firearms across the board, because you have people in

today’s environment moving from state to state. It also

assists those people who are legitimately involved in

sporting and shooting events who can travel from one

state to another and engage quite legitimately in their

sport. That is something that we are urging the states to

participate in. We are working with the Victorian government

in relation to that.


Senator BOB BROWN—Mr President, I ask a

supplementary question about semiautomatic hand

guns. The minister will recollect that it was one of

those weapons that was used to shoot 16 children in

Scotland a little over a decade ago, at Dunblane. The        (Brown actually said Dunblair)

minister mentioned the stealing from private premises

of hand guns. Can the minister say how many automatic

hand guns there are in Australia and what legitimate

use there can be for these hand guns outside those

used for security purposes and for a very limited number

of sports shooters?


Senator ELLISON—In the short time available, I

will take that on notice and table a provision dealing

with the regulation in relation to hand guns that we

have put into place with the states and territories. It

goes down to semiautomatic, length of barrel, magazine

capacity and calibre. In relation to this issue, this

is something which is ongoing and, in relation to the

thefts that are mentioned, I think the report by the

AIC—I will check the report—covers the types of firearms

which have been stolen. Again, I will provide

detail on notice to the Senate.


Ellison’s reply the next day


Senator ELLISON (Western Australia—Minister

for Justice and Customs) (3.03 pm)—Yesterday I was

asked a question by Senator Bob Brown in relation gun

control. I undertook to provide further information to

the Senate. I do that now. Contained in that is a recent

report from the Australian Institute of Criminology.

The document read as follows—

Council of Australian Governments’ Communiqué

6 December 2002

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) held its

12th meeting today in Canberra. The Council, comprising the

Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers and the President

of the Australian Local Government Association, had

detailed discussions on significant areas of national interest.

This Communiqué sets out the agreed outcomes of the discussions.


Senator Ellison proceeded to read out what was decided at the COAG

meeting of Dec 6th 2002 which dealt with the new restrictions of handguns

and their subsequent buyback, which of course we all now know about.

Senator Ellison couldn't  answer Bob Brown’s question about

"how many automatic handguns are there in Australia”

because it is a stupid question and one that might be expected from the anti gun

owning Senator Brown - as no authority can possibly know.


In regard to stolen firearms, no actual figures were given nor any

mention made of the reportedly large numbers of handguns stolen from

the wharves in Melbourne and Sydney, some of which (it is reported) were

destined for the Police Service and it is not known if these figures (reportedly

5000 or more) are factored by the Govt into the statistics of stolen handguns.

There was no discussion in the Senate about the reported large numbers handguns

being smuggled into Australia by ships crews nor by those with diplomatic immunity.

So this Senate report which I only heard and saw quite by accident on ABC TV

in the wee small hours gives us law abiding firearms owners some idea of what

to expect if we do nothing.