On 16 February 2017, the Queensland Shadow Police Minister (LNP) Tim Mander asked the Queensland Police Minister:
Will the Minister advise how many weapons licence holders had their licence either cancelled or suspended (reported separately) for committing a crime in 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 (reported separately)?
Police Minister Mark Ryan (Labor) replied:
I am informed by the Queensland Police Service that the provision of statistics relating to weapons licence holders who have had their licence either cancelled or suspended for committing a crime would require each cancelled, suspended and revoked licence on the Weapons Licensing database to be examined individually. I am further advised that this would be an unjustifiable use of police resources.
We’ve always thought that licensed shooters were a low-crime segment of the community. The Queensland Police have very carefully said nothing on the subject. It’s easy to wonder: were they hiding the truth because the QPS leadership is anti-gun?
Hilariously, the Queensland Government’s Audit Office this week had this to say about the Queensland Police Crime Statistics:
The various police and corrective services data quality issues point to an enduring lack of vigilance across the criminal justice system in reporting reliably and transparently. […] As a result, reported crime statistics are questionable at best and unreliable at worst, and should be treated with caution.
Maybe Minister Ryan could reconsider his statement to Tim Mander. Maybe it would be worth QPS time to take some care with the stats that drive policy-making?
Thanks to the Queensland Audit Office for carefully explaining what we already suspected. The Queensland Police are hiding much in their dodgy stats. Law-abiding firearm owners are not the problem. Labor Ministers (and with them malleable Police Commissioners) on the other hand are a phenomenon it would be nice to usher out via the electoral process.