Calls for reform after stats reveal more than 850,000 legal guns in NSW

Figures revealing some NSW residents are stockpiling hundreds of firearms have sparked calls for tighter gun laws.


NSW police statistics obtained under freedom of information by the Greens show some Sydneysiders possess close to 300 guns, while around 50 people in the state have 100 guns or more.

“Something is broken in our firearm laws when people are allowed to build up their own large private arsenals,” the NSW Greens justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said.

The Greens have set up a website listing unnamed firearm licence-holders’ gun hauls and their postcodes.

A person living near Newcastle who owns 322 guns topped the list, while a gun owner in suburban Mosman has an arsenal of 278.

More than 850,000 firearms are registered across the state.

“These private arsenals represent a real threat to community safety,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“They are honeypot targets for criminals who want to get their hands on potentially hundreds of guns in a single raid,” he said.

Anyone with five guns should be required to provide an exceptional reason to acquire more, Mr Shoebridge said.

Gun Control Australia said current laws meant there was no limit to the number of firearms in the community and have called on the Federal Government to launch a national audit of guns.

Last week former prime minister John Howard, who introduced the laws 20 years ago after the Port Arthur massacre, said they needed to be strengthened.

“Once you give people access to weapons and those people snap or exhibit a mental illness, then you will have tragedy,” he told SBS’s Insight program.

But Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the government has no plans to change the national gun control laws.

NSW Shooters and Fishers Party MP Robert Brown last week said he opposed tighter gun laws, saying law-abiding people owning registered guns was not a problem.