Breach – Our Unsecured Data

Breach – Our Unsecured Data by A W Jones.

As a gun owner I expect certain things from the police, just as any other citizen does. Courtesy, professionalism, and a timely response to any issues. I think that’s a fair call. What I don’t expect is my personal details and information about the firearms I own or their location spread all over the internet, or my firearms license to be sent to another person. Sadly or more to the point, continually this is not the case.

In the last few years there have been a constant string of suspected breaches, none of the weapons licensing branches have actually come clean and said if they were hacked or not in any definitive way. Firearms  licence holders details are potentially being kept on an unsecured server, and  there are enough thefts to warrant firearms owners being, if not paranoid, then downright suspicious of where the data is ending up, and in whose hands.

It’s interesting to note that recently a police officer on the Gold Coast was stood down facing criminal charges for accessing the police data bases to get the current address for an acquaintance, of said acquaintances ex partner. Think about that for a moment, this guardian of public safety decided it was ok to pass on the details of someone and place them at risk of violence. What else was he passing on?

The cold hard truth is that many of the boys in blue are not fit to wear the uniform and are content to break the laws the are supposed to uphold. I have the utmost respect for those that do their job properly but it seems that these officers are now in the minority.

What this latest incident shows us is that the system of firearms registration in this country is seriously flawed. The people in charge have no idea or technical knowledge in most cases about firearms of any type.  Who could forget the Victorian assistant commissioner claiming;

“ I’m not really sure what it is but I think it’s some kind of automatic”

For those of you that missed it, he was talking about a savage bolt action tactical rifle! There is a clip of the interview floating around on the internet. If this sheer stupidity wasn’t so tragic it would almost be comical. Unfortunately, this kind of incompetence is what shooters are facing on a daily basis from the upper levels of police forces across the country and these are the people that are supposed to administer and guide the system.

Personally I have had many an argument with the Queensland Weapons licensing section about everything from importing magazines to the number of rounds you can stuff into a Winchester 30/30 and FYI, according to Queensland Weapons Licencing Branch it’s a single shot. And yes I have the paper work to prove it.

So how do we combat this? Honestly I really don’t know. I do know the people responsible for these monumental, and please pardon the term fuck ups, need to be held to account. In the private sector any of the recent breaches would be a sack-able offence. In my opinion the current system is a shopping list for criminals and terrorists and should be scrapped along with the farce that is the National Firearms Agreement.

Australian Gun Control: Hoplophobes Say The Darndest Things!

6916260-3x2-940x627Written By Dennis DeMartins

Another eventful week in Australia has seen the ongoing battle against the ban on the Adler and upcoming NFA review take a few new turns. Some for better, some for worse and some on the insane side (wish I’d known that on my wedding day).

The Adler ban was temporarily shot down at the Federal Level and sent back to the states for review. Given the conduct of respective states’ Police Ministers in recent weeks however, it looks like things could get comical.

Sporting Shooters Victoria released this video in response to the continuous stream of non-factual facts from Gun Control Australia clown Sam Lee. David Shoebridge is apparently upset he wasn’t part of the video, given he’s too busy being embarrassed and having anti-hunting bills overwhelmingly defeated in NSW Parliament.
However, it was one main move in Victoria which earnt the spotlight this week.
The Combined Firearms Council of Victoria announced that Victoria Police hadn’t really announced that there were changes to firearm transportation laws under Section 126 on the Firearms Act.

Victoria Police and Minister (for Hoplophobes) Wade Noonan continued his outstanding run of underhanded form by deciding to pull a fast one and change the laws regarding transportation of firearms, without informing firearm owners or consulting shooting groups. Obviously, Noonan didn’t think to use the outstandingly efficient multimillion dollar licensing infrastructure to inform license holders of the potential changes, as he was too busy mailing out generic emails to the masses of unhappy firearm owners who Noonan has been so (not) open and receptive to. Cut Wade some slack, he’s needed to replace his Ctrl and C keys three times this year.

The amendments include:

“Police will treat each individual case on its merits and there may be circumstances where the guidelines are followed but criminal charges are still warranted if the overall security of the firearms are compromised due to aggravated circumstances.

For example if a firearm is securely stored in the trunk but the owner of the vehicle is driving the vehicle while intoxicated or speeding they might be considered to have compromised the security of the firearm. Additionally circumstances such as this may indicate that the firearm owner may not really understand the responsibilities required for proper firearm ownership.”
It continues. The below changes (thanks to the Combined Firearms Council of Victoria) consist of the original amendments (crossed out) and then Victoria Police’s sudden retraction issued last Friday (in red).
Firearms are to should be transported in a padded cover or hard case, unloaded and preferably rendered inoperable.
While being transported, firearms and ammunition are to should be kept out of sight and stored in separate receptacles that are either secured to the inside of you [sic] vehicle or in a lockable component of your vehicle.

Cartridge ammunition is to should be stored separately from the firearms in a part of the vehicle not readily accessible by an unauthorised person. A lockable glove box would suffice provided the key to the glove box is kept securely by the holder of the firearm licence and cannot be accessed by persons unauthorised to possess ammunition or firearms.

Victoria Police have a lot to explain here. How exactly does being a few km’s over the speed limit “compromise the safety of the firearm” if the firearm is already securely stored in the vehicle? What level of “intoxication” is deemed in breach of storage? How does this apply to storage compartments of multiple vehicle types such as utilities, station wagons and hatchback type cars, etc?

This whole issue raises two major concerns for firearm owners, and indeed citizens, in Australia.

Firstly, firearm owners and the general public were not aware that Victoria Police also had a legislative function. Secondly, the amendments put forward were so vague that the interpretation was clearer than mud to say the least. The existing law, which although very heavy handed has been working fine without incident for years, obviously needed updating and salary justification in the eyes of a few mouth breathers in the Victorian Public Service.

Minister Noonan obviously saw fit that due to the Senate Inquiry from earlier this year that clearly demonstrated that less than 2% of firearms used in crime were stolen from licensed owners, and something clearly needed to be done, because “something something think of the children”. This is the same police force that genuinely believes it can get the road death toll down to zero. In reality, it’s the same inch by inch gun rights erosion schtick from the gun grabbing crowd we’ve all come to know and love. Using speeding as an excuse to take licenses away is also a very sneaky attempt by Noonan and co, most likely trying to do this while the public is distracted by the events in Paris.

In fairness, Victoria Police are just trying to emulate their brethren to the north at NSW Police, who only last month advocated doing away with the Australian Senate after Senator David Leyonhjelm got them right in the feels over their handling of A-league fans. With this trend of state police taking over legislative and executive functions of government, one can only wonder what the wonderfully arrogant Jo Ann Miller has planned for the Senate-less Queensland. WA Police have declined to comment, as they’re too busy shooting non-aggressive dogs.

This comes right off the back of NSW Police announcing their new rules of engagement for active shooter scenarios. There’s no reason that the public shouldn’t have full confidence given that 57% of officers fail to pass the actual course, spend one day at the range a year to maintain currency with their handgun and as witnessed this week, are having trouble even getting them out of their holsters.

Noonan and NSW Police were not to be outdone however, as a late entry from (in)Justice Minister Michael Keenan took the lowest common denominator award this week for announcing that “ Australia’s robust gun laws would prevent a Paris style massacre occurring here”. Keenan’s confidence was no doubt boosted in the knowledge of France’s strict gun control preventing the casualties in Paris as well as in Mali, and that Man Monis and the murder of Curtis Cheng were just “minor indiscretions.”

He could also take solace in the fact that a man in NSW was found with a Thompson SMG, a Good Samaritan shot at in Melbourne, a drive-by shooting with an illegal .22 rifle in Canberra and home invaders shooting defenseless elderly people in Queensland in just the past 3 days, were all also just “minor indiscretions.”

Don’t tell Jo Ann Miller about the last one.

How Many Anti’s Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb – The Adler & The Inquiry

NioaWritten by By A.W.Jones

As we close out a year that has been packed with political drama, shenanigans, grandstanding and turmoil, it may be time to reflect and take stock of the gains our community has reaped and what we stand to lose in 2016.

Our detractors; the Greens, Gun Control Australia, “Dr” Phillip Alpers, the Honourable Michael Keenan and assorted other politicians of all political stripes looking for a quick sound bite, a few more votes and a quote in the news media, have by all accounts had a fairly decent spanking from pro gun groups and politicians in this country.

The controversy over the Adler shotgun was but a storm in a tea cup compared to what we will be facing next year on the 20th anniversary of Port Arthura. And don’t let the small victories and the blatant incompetence of our opposition fool you.  Sooner or later they might actually get their proverbial brown stuff together and launch a co-ordinated campaign against the LAFOS of this country, but enough doom and gloom for now and lets look at the previous year.

The Greens led senate inquiry into gun violence in 2014/15 was intended to be a serious blow to the shooting community in this country, fortunately this was not the outcome.  Through the efforts of Senator David Leyonhjelm, The Shooters and Fishers Party, SSAA, dealers and industry groups and several thousand un-named yet no less important firearms enthusiasts all making submissions and testifying before the committee. This blatant attempt to link the law abiding with the criminal world was shot down. In fact the chair person and greens senator from South Australia, Penny Wright, looked an utter fool and stepped down due to a family illness. The skeptic in me doubts a few things in the press release but regardless of what happened in the party room, post spanking, one down, lots to go.

The Adler shot gun controversy; I really am struck dumb, actually no I’m not, I have a bucket full to say about this saga of stupidity, lies and outright mis-information and bigotry.  After what can only be described as the most successful advertising campaign in the history of Australian Firearms Sales, Nioa Trading attracted the ire and outrage of such political heavyweights including; David Shoebridge, Tim Fischer, Michael Keenan and a host of silly anti gun side kicks like Samantha Lee and Roland Brown. The Adler was a public relations bonanza for both Nioa, and the anti’s.

You might ask ” But Tony, how was all the negative publicity good for Nioa?”  as a famous hack once said – “any publicity is good publicity”.

Proof positive of this publicity, at last count over 12 thousand alders are on back order, which means I might get mine in time for Christmas 2020 if I’m lucky, but I’m content to wait.

Despite the outright lies, scare tactics and accusations of political favouritism, some absolutely positively stunning Homer Simpson moments from Shoebridge, Tim Fischer and Samantha Lee, all broadcast on live tv and a deal cut by several pro-gun senators. Bob Katter spoke up in favour of the Adler (for those of you who missed it, Rob Nioa is Katter’s son in law) and now the people friendly (5 shot) version has been allowed into the country. Not a complete victory but its a start, beware, this fight is not over yet.

The unfortunate side effects of this extremely public and well covered (I use the term to demonstrate the amount of print space and air time used, not the quality of the journalism involved in the coverage) bun fight are; the ignorant and the press have been given another opportunity to demonise inert objects and those that use them for legal sport and recreation activities. After watching Samantha Lee babble her way through a list of “facts” on the evil death dealing, almost semi automatic, civilisation destroying, terrorist sponsored Adler at the recent ‘MASSIVE RALLY’ in Sydney (1 green, 2 GCA reps, a few NSW staffers, 3 special guest speakers that were used shamelessly, and the media ) all it took was 3 law abiding firearm owners to de-bunk Ms Lee’s and David Shoebridge’s rabid rhetoric. Well done to those men!

So, where do we stand now? At this point we have a thriving and vibrant shooting community in Australia, what we need is unity and a single vision.

Our diversity could very well be our un-doing.  We need to come together as a community no matter what your passion. Whether it be hunting, competition shooting, fishing, four wheel driving or trail bike riding, all these things are under threat. As shooters we have a responsibility to act in a manner that represents our sport/pastime in a favourable light. Yes there are yahoo’s out there, you get that in any section of the community as a whole, but as a whole we need to be seen as a group that behaves as responsible members of society. I remember in 1996, hearing the words “what do you need a semi for?” when the call to ban semi automatic rifles and pump action shotguns came about. Even now I still hear this from individuals within our community, and my response to this is  “why do you need a 30 thousand dollar shotgun or a 6 thousand dollar competition handgun?”

I’LL TELL YOU WHY- BECAUSE THE TOOL FITS THE TASK!!! EVERYONE IN THIS COUNTRY THAT OWNS A FIREARM IS UNDER THREAT, THAT IS THE HONEST NO HOLDS BARRED TRUTH!

What we need is a single focus between firearms owners, dealers and lobby groups, give them the mandate the money and the support to take the fight from behind closed doors and into the mainstream.

What can you do to help? The single best way to fight this is votes and numbers, more numbers equals more votes.  Currently we represent about 3.5-4% of the population of this great country and every person that takes up sport or recreation shooting is another potential vote for those that will support us long term.

In the short term write, email and meet with your local politicians, they were elected to represent YOU, call them out, make them work for their money, especially the short timers that aren’t yet eligible for the golden parachute . Yes, at times it feels futile but don’t lose heart, make your submissions, send your emails and make those phone calls. Be polite and de-bunk any false information you see being touted by the media.  Journalists, organisations and politicians, all  have Facebook and Twitter, use it to your advantage, post your comments on their pages and tweets.Be Merciless.

The Media, bless their lying little hearts, if you see something that is in-correct, call them on it.  Letters to the editor do get read, but most of all remember they aren’t here to sell peace love and happiness, If it bleeds, it leads. For far too long we have been the whipping boy for our self imposed social commentators.

 Finally, be proud of who you are, you are one of the most vetted and law abiding citizens in this country, you are an Australian firearms owner, legal and licensed. Oh, and how many anti’s does it take to change a light bulb? Who cares, by the time the press conference is over you’ve already done it yourself.