Press releases

For immediate release 26 April 2001

Put crosshairs on crims - not the public

SSAA National Secretary Mr Roy Smith today said that "The SSAA deplores the thoughtless tactics used by Samantha Lee of the Coalition for Gun Control in using a large televison screen to place crosshairs on shoppers in Martin Place" This stunt is in support of her call to ban semiautomatic handguns - a request that is based on emotion and rhetoric. The rise in handgun related crime is a direct result of the use of illegal handguns in the hands of unlicenced persons. A fact that is supported by recent research by the Australian Bureau of Criminology."

The facts are

  • Between July 1 1997 and 30 June 1999 nine in ten offenders of firearm-related homicide were unlicenced firearm owners.

  • Knives and other sharp instruments were the most common type of weapon used in the commission of homicides.

The Australian Institute of Criminology publication "Australian Crime Facts and Figures 2000" Page 27

An analysis of the licencing and registration status of firearms used in homicide between 1 July 1997 and 30 June 1999 reveals that the overwhelming majority of these firearm were not registered and the offenders of homicide were not licenced firearm owners.

  • Of the 117 homicide offenders who used firearms to commit homicide, only 9.4% homicide offenders were licenced firearms owners with registered firearms. In other words licenced firearm owners were not responsible for the majority of firearm-related homicides. These findings are consistent with international research. In the few cases where licenced firearms owners used a registered firearm to kill, 80 percent of the registered firearms used were Categrory A or B firearms. (Category A is rimfire rifle or shotgun and Category B is centrefire rifle)

  • Between 1 July 1997 and 30 June 1999 not one handgun used in homicide was registered.

Trends and Issues #151 "The Licencing and Registration status of firearms used in homicide" Australian Institute of Criminology Jenny Mouzos May 2000 (see page 4)

The SSAA will have representatives at Martin Place at midday handing out informative and reputable information concerning the pistol shooting sports.

"We hope to encourage people to come and experience the sport of pistol shooting at our indoor range at St Marys, or at any of our approved ranges across the state." Mr Smith said.

"The public need to know that nobody, but nobody takes possession of a legal pistol unless the Police Service gives the authority to do so." Mr Smith said.

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