Of the 89,000 gun owners in Western Australia, thousands are now at risk after the state government released a map showing their whereabouts.
Public maps revealing the exact location of thousands of pistols and long-armed firearms in Western Australia have now sparked anger that criminals can use to target and steal guns.
By overlaying a map of real estate boundaries on a chart using free software available online, the Epoch Times was able to pinpoint the exact location of about 50 firearm owners in just a few hours. ..
The map is based on an internal WA police database and was distributed to Western Australian media on Tuesday.
This information is allegedly provided by Minister of WA Police Paul Paparia. The Western Australian Police Commissioner said the map was part of an internal briefing and police did not intend to expose it.
The Epoch Times contacted Western Australian Police and Western Australian Police Minister Paul Papalia, but did not receive a response in time for the announcement.
The incident occurred after the Government of Western Australia reviewed state gun control for regional security and revealed that the state had 349,000 licensed firearms owned by 89,000 individuals. Did.
However, the decision to release the map surprised gun owners who believed it had achieved the exact opposite.
“Dangerous. I’m really worried now,” a veteran Western Australian police officer with protected identities told The Epoch Times.
“I think it’s very likely that someone will destroy the house as a result,” he said.
Police officers also said that WA’s firearm crimes are rare and that the government and the media have a story that describes gun ownership as dangerous, even though most incidents are caused by gun theft. He said he believed.
“Their motives for instilling fear actually drove safety in the opposite direction of what they intended,” police said.
“They were trying to cause fear and panic by showing people.’This is a map, you’re surrounded by guns!’ But what you did was actually pick up a gun. Show the criminals where to go to get in. “
In Western Australia, like the rest of Australia, guns are not allowed for self-defense. However, it is permitted under limited circumstances such as recreational shooting and animal hunting on the target private land.
Paul Fitzgerald, president of the Australian West Australian Sports Shooter Association (SSAAWA), said there was no evidence linking gun crime to the number of licensed firearm owners.
“Recreation shooters are athletes and conservationists who are passionate about the safety of firearms and the responsibilities associated with owning licensed firearms, and we are enthusiastic activists against gun violence.” Fitzgerald said.
“We have made every attempt to consult with the state government, hoping that changes in firearms law will actually help prevent crime and maintain sports and recreational shooting in Western Australia with the Minister of Papalia. I had several meetings. “
“Instead of meaningful involvement with our members, responsible gun owners are unfairly targeted and their safety by publishing data that makes it easy to identify where our members live. Was jeopardized, “he said.
A senator candidate Paul Filing and a former criminal investigation agency detective have asked the Western Australian Labor Party government for clarification.
“The actions of Minister of Labor and Police, Paul Paparia, in publishing these maps are very irresponsible and he should be dismissed,” Filing said in a statement.
“The owner of a firearm whose house is identified in the published image is such that the family tries to steal the weapon, or at least explicitly invites the criminal to stalk the weapon until an opportunity is available. You need to be shocked to see it appear. “
Many agree that legislation needs to be amended, but the WA government drafts its own bill when a comprehensive report has already been provided to the WA government for the past six years. There are concerns behind the decision.
The approximately 200-page report, published by the Western Australia Legal Reform Commission in 2016, follows a series of recommendations following two years of work and consultation with the community, gun owners, politicians, and other stakeholders. Provided.