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Real threat not guns but crime

In the wake of the theft of 30 to 40 rifles and handguns from the Napier home of a collector, calls have been made for greater security measures for firearms.
And it is a point worthy of debate, as the thought of all that potential firepower being available to criminals isn't pleasant.

While gun-owners are compelled to have extensive security measures to prevent their weapons being stolen, Saturday's theft in Napier shows that if perpetrators are ruthless enough even the most expensive bolts and locks are of little worth.

All it takes is the threat to the gun owner, or a member of his or her family, and any door can be opened.

A similar technique was used by thieves, thought to have links to the IRA, when they stole $40 million from the Northern Bank in Belfast last December.
One proposal has been for all firearms to be stored in a central vault, only to be made available when their owners wish to use them.

But one of the joys of collecting, be it stamps or pistols, is possessing and admiring one's precious objects. Having them locked away off site wouldn't be the same.

And some collectors' guns are not used - they are just owned. What would be the point of buying valuable firearms and paying for a licence if owners never saw their possessions?

Also there would be nothing to prevent the same tactic that was used to rob the Northern Bank in Northern Ireland being used against the vault - family members being held hostage while bank workers were coerced into opening the safe. And what about a farmer who sees dogs killing his sheep? He would have to drive into town to the nearest vault - possibly several hours away - to get his shotgun.

Making things even tougher for gun owners - who already have to re-apply for their licence every 10 years at a cost of $123 ($236 if they miss the deadline), the money going who-knows-where - would be stupid.

At the end of the day, in this case the gun owner was not the criminal, he was the victim.

Two masked men held a knife to his throat after he opened his door to a child selling chocolate. The two men who used a child to assist them with their crime are the offenders and all legitimate firearms owners and collectors shouldn't be punished for their offending.

The two men need to be caught and dealt with in a manner that sends a signal to criminals, and potential criminals, that invading people's homes and threatening them will result in a very, very long time behind bars.

*FW Note:

One of the oldest gun control/public safety scams, the proposal for a central armory.

Government mewls, that "a citizen can access their arms any time they wish" (at the government's convienience, of course). But the fact is that the only thing accomplished is honest and law abiding people are denied open and rightful access to their private property, and they are left defenseless at the whim of those who claim to want to keep them safe.

Law abiding might cooperate to store their firearms, while criminals likely will not.

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