Too Many Guns: ACT Greens call for action on weapon stockpiles

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

The ACT Greens today call on the Government to address a “concerning” number of individuals with large private arsenals of firearms in the Territory. 

Data recently acquired by the NSW Greens under Freedom of Information laws found that some thirty Canberra households have acquired private weapons arsenals of more than a dozen firearms.

“It’s difficult to see how any one person should need to amass a large private gun arsenal in our city.  A single gun owner can accumulate dozens of firearms without any need to justify why they require a number of weapons,” said Greens MLA and police spokesperson Shane Rattenbury.

“Under current laws, with every new firearm, gun owners only fill out a separate form—and may simply recycle their reasons for multiple weapons, rather than need explain why they feel so many weapons are required.

“The ownership of weapons in our community is a privilege, not a right. Having numerous private individuals, each with large stockpiles of guns in their possession—who are not collectors, or retailers—raises obvious questions about how this can be justified.”

Under ACT law, all firearms in the ACT are required to be registered. A firearms licence applicant is required to provide and prove at least one genuine reason for possessing or using a firearm.

“We accept that there are those in our community with a genuine reason to own a firearm. Farmers would be one such example, or members of a shooting club. Both groups may reasonably be able to establish a genuine need for a few guns to address different needs.

“We will be discussing this issue with the Police Minister to ensure that the necessary restrictions are in place, moving forward,” Mr Rattenbury added.

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