FARHAD Jabar, 15, produced a gun in front of NSW Police headquarters in Parramatta and shot Curtis Cheng before being shot dead himself.
The average citizen in NSW has very good reason to ask how a teenager could obtain a gun so easily.
The firearm used in this murder was a .38 calibre Smith and Wesson revolver, thought to be sourced from a Middle Eastern crime gang.
However, it is claimed that such a weapon could be purchased by any person with criminal connections for around $1000, and there is no shortage of supply or demand.
Illegal guns are certainly a worry.
Indeed gun seizures of prohibited weapons would seem to be all too common. In one raid near Bundaberg, police seized 328 guns and four tonnes of ammunition.
The weapons included illegal automatics, semi-automatics and handguns, but the really disturbing feature is that the father and two sons were licenced to have 71 firearms. Since the collection included military style fully automatic weapons such as AK47s and MP5s, the multi-million dollar haul would have been enough to start a revolution.
Google the Border Protection website and find the firearms and weapons news releases. Capturing illegals guns would appear to be an almost everyday experience, often associated with other criminal activity such as drugs.
In June The Age reported that The Police Association in Victoria claimed that police were discovering guns on average every two days in what they have dubbed “the red zone” on Melbourne’s north western fringe.
Police in the Broadmeadows, Sunshine and Werribee area have reported firearm-related incidents, such as drive-by shootings, every six days and an increasing trend of children as young as 16 carrying guns.
A quick check of the “Licence and Genuine Reasons” page on the police website implies that getting a NSW gun licence is not easy.
Yet a Sydney Morning Herald report on August 3 this year claimed that 850,000 firearms were in private hands. Of course, farmers and sports shooters would account for much of that number, but strangely the biggest rise in gun ownership has been in affluent suburbs in Sydney such as Neutral Bay.
In the Wagga 2650 postcode there are 10,824 firearms, up 22.6 per cent since 2010.
That could be worrying enough, but Liverpool has the highest number of guns in the Greater Sydney Region with 4689, and that’s just the licenced number.
Other high gun ownership suburbs include Chester Hill, Horsley Park, Bexley and Bankstown.
As I was preparing this story, a news release popped onto the police website. A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a 45-year-old man at Lakemba, shot in the neck outside his unit block.
Perhaps the claim by many that they need a gun for protection is justified.
The Shooters and Fishers Party defends the rise in gun numbers, pointing to increased interest in hunting.
The Australian Clay Target Association is a big money spinner for Wagga, so we certainly don’t want that activity to be constrained.
However, I believe we need to look at the massive increase in guns in private hands.
Only a couple of weeks ago three guns were stolen from a gun safe in Glenfield.
Sadly, guns, crime and victims go together.
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