The awful events at Wieambilla (mid December 2022), where two Queensland Constables and bystander Alan Dare were murdered by criminals with no firearms licenses, are being pumped by Australian Gun Control groups and Police Unions to drive new ammunition limits and licensing restrictions. Queensland Police failures leading up to Wieambilla will be picked over by a Coronial Inquest in a year or more’s time (we wrote to the Police Minister last month about this, linked here). Exposure of these at an inquest will come too late to head-off the growing call for unjustified, increased restrictions on shooters.
We’re going to pick apart what’s happening and why. Including, key elements of the current Queensland Police Service investigation not yet reported by newspapers and TV media.
We’ll break this down in three sections:
- What (probably) happened at Wieambilla? (Below)
- Who calls for restrictions and what are they? (Below)
- Have we seen this before in recent Australian history? (To be covered in our next post)
Part 1: What happened at Wieambilla?
Before the callout
On 22 December 2022, after QPS Commissioner Carroll asserted the very young Constables conducted “a full risk assessment” before heading out, we wrote to Queensland’s Police Minister with six questions (click here for original post):
- Commissioner Carroll: were the four constables left to conduct the “full risk assessment” alone and with no intelligence from NSW?
- Was the duty sergeant part of the “full risk assessment”, in light of the constables’ inexperience?
- What data did NSW Police bother to send to QPS?
- Were NSW Police able to draw anything useful from their shambolic firearms registry?
- What happened to the border-crossing complaint data from 12 months prior?
- Did our good friends at counter-terrorism know/do/contribute anything?
We haven’t received a response. It is particularly difficult to understand why the young Constables were sent without the support of a more experienced officer to a callout where a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Nathaniel Train. The warrant was specifically in relation to firearms offences, and he’d been reported to QPS as disposing of firearms at the Queensland border. QPS Deputy Commissioner Linford said there were no “red flags”. It sounds to us like the Constables were left to their own devices without the full picture in preparing for the callout.
Operation Uniform Cavan
Queensland Police Service have launched an investigation specifically into the homicide of the two Constables. This raises the interesting question of why there’s a separate investigation into the death of bystander Alan Dare. We return to Mr Dare in our questions below.
This month (January 2023) a wide variety of shooting clubs, dealers, and other members of the shooting community have been asked whether they had a relationship with or supplied anything to the Train trio. Specific questions have been asked about practices in supplying ammunition. This seems to dovetail neatly with the hype about the need to impose ammo limits on licensed shooters (which the Trains were not) discussed in Part 2 (below).
Queensland Police already know there are failures to defend
There are problems besides the supervision of junior Constables. Controversially: we believe that a Queensland Police Service weapon was used by the Train trio to shoot at police and possibly others on scene. We wrote to the detectives of Operation Uniform Cavan with some questions that will carry potentially embarrassing answers:
- Is it true that one of the deceased Constables was shot with a QPS issue firearm?
- Did QPS members (including now deceased members) on scene lose control of any QPS firearms?
- Were .40 projectiles (of the sort used by QPS) recovered from, or from nearby, Mr Dare’s body, or otherwise did his body bear wounds consistent with .40 projectiles?
- If so, is it possible Mr Dare was killed using a QPS firearm?
We’ve received no response (surprise!). These are questions that should be addressed before we go blaming licensed shooters for this situation.
Are Queensland Police happy to blame licensed shooters as a distraction from failures?
As we foreshadowed in our post last month (click here), Queensland Police Service appears to be setting itself up to defend against any claim of institutional failure (eg poor support to junior police) through a variety of methods. First, blame the Constables for their own risk assessment. Second, trying to find someone or some practice to blame in the licensed shooting community. In other words, Queensland Police appear happy to quietly support ammunition limits and to cast aspersions on licensed dealers and shooters to distract from institutional failures that would be obvious to a Coronial Inquest.
Police supplying ammo to the public
The leadership of Queensland Police is actively hunting for regulated shooters who don’t keep control of their ammo. Let’s give them some. Gun control starts at home 🙂
Date: Sun, Jan 29, 2023 at 5:56 PM
Subject: QPS leave ammo for people at Belmont range
To: Police <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Minister Ryan,
Operation Uniform Cavan have actively pursued the question of whether licensed shooters or dealers supplied the Train trio (responsible for Wieambilla murders) with ammunition.
Yesterday we were at the Belmont range, frequented by the Queensland Police Service. We took the attached photos of live .40 calibre rounds and .223 rifle rounds left on scene by Queensland Police. How do we know this is QPS? .40 Federal ammo is exactly their flavour, as is .223 (non-toxic). The ammo hasn’t been there for too long. This isn’t the first time we’ve found live rounds.
It would be nice if Queensland Police would control their own ammunition (instead of leaving it for public acquisition) before supporting the imposition of ammo limits on licensed shooters. A broader post on this issue will be available at www.lafo.com.au this evening.
Law Abiding Firearms Owners Inc.
Part 2: Who calls for restrictions and what are they?
A string of January 2023 articles have carried strident demands for legal and policy restrictions on law-abiding shooters.
AFPA president Alex Caruana said states and territories should also introduce strict limits on the amount of ammunition that can be bought, so it can’t be stockpiled in massive quantities or on-sold to unlicensed gun owners.
“There’s no upper limitations (in many jurisdictions) to how much you can buy, and potentially they can buy ammunition that other people have firearms for – unlicensed – that are off the books, to supply the grey market with this ammunition,” he said.“No limit on bullets for illegal firearms”, 16 January 2023, The Australian by Sarah Elks
Two days later the hyperbolic headlines continue “Every state and territory in breach of National Firearms Agreement”:
An investigation by The Australian has confirmed that there is no limit to how much ammunition licensed gun-owners can buy in any jurisdiction, except Tasmania, where the police commissioner decides individual limits based on personal circumstances.
Under the National Firearms Agreement – signed by all jurisdictions in 1996 after the Port Arthur massacre that killed 35 people and then again in 2017 after the Lindt cafe siege in which two people died – states and territories promised to legislate to limit the quantity of ammunition that could be purchased. They also agreed to allow the sale of ammunition only for the specific firearms for which the buyer was licensed; the Northern Territory, Queensland, SA and Victoria all fail in that aspect as well by allowing licence-holders to buy any ammunition for the same category of firearm.18 January 2023, The Australian by Sarah Elks
The process of psychologically linking the use of ammunition by law-abiding shooters to crazy online extremism had already commenced, with some quotes from supposed “experts” revealing how strangely the gun-control crowd think. Specifically, they believe such things as that police have a right to kill people. Read for yourself (link to original here):
He also warns sovereign citizen ideology makes these people even more dangerous – a core belief they have as much right to shoot someone as the courts, police and military do.Warning attributed to Dr Oboler, CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute, by Canberra Times 27 December 2022.
Yes, this is an “online hate expert” apparently asserting that police have a right to shoot people. And then asserting that the aberration of “sovereign citizens” is that they too believe they can shoot people.
The aberration here seems to be more in the mind of the supposed expert. The idea that police or the military have a generalised right to shoot to people is alien to our society. It is only in extreme, rare, and special situations that they are excused from liability for killing people. There is certainly never a right to shoot. As far as courts shooting people? We’ve never heard of a civil court in Australia shooting anyone. Perhaps Dr Oboler (for a doctor he is) spends too much time on the internet researching hate.
This is sadly typical of the sort of distorted thinking that leads to the current calls for ammo limits and other new restrictions. In our next post, we’ll compare current events with the Lindt Cafe siege and the banning of lever action shotguns.
Forward this post to your local Member of Parliament and write you are against ammo limits, at least until a full Coronial Inquest is completed.
NSW MPs: Who is my local member? (nsw.gov.au)
Federal MPs: https://electorate.aec.gov.au/