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1 gun for every 8 people in NSW

John Stanley and Paul B Kidd
Article image for 1 gun for every 8 people in NSW

There are more than 1 million registered firearms in NSW, for the first time since before the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre, according to the latest report from Gun Control Australia.

It’s a concerning statistic, because it means there’s one gun in the state for every eight people.

The last two years have seen a huge spike in the number of them, with over 90,000 additions, which, according to the GCA, is because of an unraveling of gun laws. The figures exclude firearms collectors and dealers.

Most surprisingly, there are 100 people who own private gun arsenals with more than 70 firearms, and they aren’t just residents in regional and rural areas.

One resident in Sydney’s south east has 305 guns, while one Mosman resident has 268.

President of Gun Control Australia Samantha Lee says the organisation is not asking for a blanket ban, but more sensible gun control laws.

“It’s just beyond a joke when an individual in Sydney has 305 guns in their home. They’re not a collector or dealer.”

“For us, it’s concerning.”

Ms Lee says her organisation’s concerns don’t just lie with gun ownership, but some of the unintended consequences.

“A large number of guns are stolen from residential dwellings…they will eventually move into the illegal market.”

The biggest reason for obtaining a gun licence in NSW is for recreational hunting, but there’s been a rise in illegal hunting, which has had a negative impact on farmers.

“There needs to be a limit on the number and types of guns you’re trying to acquire at one given time.”

John Stanley and Paul B Kidd