Gun heist exposes centralised storage flaws

Many opponents of private firearms ownership, including the Australian Greens Party, often argue that firearms should not be stored at home, despite licensed firearms owners adhering to stringent storage requirements. Rather, they call for a supervised and central storage location, such as at the gun club or a dedicated strongroom.

The SSAA sees centralised storage for what it is: more restraints on our freedoms with no evidence to suggest it would result in any public safety benefit. When reports surfaced that around 40 rifles and shotguns were stolen from a ‘secure’ storage facility in Newcastle, New South Wales, on December 5, it was further evidence that centralised storage policies are fundamentally flawed. And, like bees to the honey, it appears that the theft was a targeted incident.

The heist in the inner city suburb of Newcastle West is said to be one of the largest gun thefts in the state’s history, with the NSW State Crime Command calling in the heavy hitters in the form of the Firearms and Organised Crime Squad to investigate the robbery. It also raised concerns about potential raids on other similar bulk storage facilities, given the specific nature of the incident.

While the SSAA does not support centralised or away-from-home storage, we do acknowledge that in some instances, alternative storage options are required. However, for most licensed firearms owners who are able to store their items securely, safely and according to the law at home, this is always the preferred option.

Our Secure Your Gun, Secure Your Sport campaign is just one way the SSAA educates our members and the broader community on the importance of safe firearms storage. It details some of the best gun safes on the market for both new and seasoned shooters. Further advice on the storage and transportation of firearms, including about flights and importing or exporting items through Customs, as well as the contact details for each firearms registry, is detailed on the SSAA’s Licensing section.

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