1. The registries don’t stop the victims of criminal violence piling up

There are eight State and Territory registries.  The Queensland registry, for example, costs at least $6m a year according to the Police financial reports.  Too much of this money is wasted pushing paper around in big, inefficient circles.  It would be better spent stopping organised violent criminals who typically seek and use illegal firearms.

Home invasions are a daily event in Victoria, but the Police have to waste their time investigating crooks in their own firearms registry, as reported in The Age this week.

2. The registries do nothing to stem the flood of illegal imports

3. The Police can’t run a high-volume public service operation

This is Running A Public Service 101 and they’re doing it woefully in every State.

In Victoria, even the Police Minister is begging the Police to put forms online and process applications in a timely way.  

In Tasmania, the Police are ‘banning’ Australian-made rifles without publishing any reasons for their decision (see our letter to the Tasmanian Government on this).

In Queensland, the quality of service is atrocious and law-abiding firearm owners are being advised to break the law.

In South Australia, the Ombudsman has had plenty to say about that State’s appalling registry.

Lots of government agencies manage to deliver a decent, online, fast service to most citizens most of the time.  Think of registering your car, lodging your tax return or registering your dog.  The Police just don’t seem to have the expertise to run a high-volume processing service system.  They don’t know how to deal with the public and they don’t seem to recognise that they have to offer intelligible, written reasons for their decisions – just like all the other government officials who don’t wear uniforms to work.

If they were phone companies, they’d be broke.  Yet governments give them more and more money, praying that they’ll do a better job.  Instead of distracting the Police from their core job of detecting and preventing crime, firearms licensing needs to be reformed and taken over by customer-focused civilian administrators.

Everywhere you look, the firearms registries are tying up police resources.  Tell your State and Federal MP and Police Minister to start spending money on real policing or you’ll vote for a party that will.