Just a heads up that there have been recent cases in Australia where drug addicts were working off their debts by robbing the homes of shooters – from a shopping list of owners.
Police were reportedly so concerned about the list that they offered the owners targeted the option of storing their firearms inside local police station safes. They also conducted regular patrols of several properties marked on the list to be burgled.
Shooting clubs around the state involved received a letter explaining the situation and warning their members to be vigilant.
So what can we do to be safe here:
Firstly, simply be very aware that organized crime is data mining on line to find shooters to rob.
1. Be very careful when naming people in shooting results on club websites and in other forums, like Facebook. Likewise when reporting in shooting magazines. Or even pinning such a list to the wall of your clubhouse. Consider just using the initial of their surname.
The Cowboy Action shooters are in an ideal position with their nicknames.
2. Be paranoid about the contact information that the club secretary holds. Invest in data protection software. One laptop snatched from a car or left with a technician for repair could make hundreds vulnerable.
This is a fine line between preventing yourself from becoming vulnerable and sharing and celebrating our sport. Because both are important.
I have heard tourists say “New Zealand must be safe because you have no guns here”. Even some kiwis believe this to be the case. Because we are so low key.
The Kiwi Gun Blog is not sure that this is the ideal situation. We feel that the recreational use of firearms should be normalized. Part of that is sharing with people the sport that you enjoy.
So this choice really is up to each individual.
But if you are a gun club, please don’t make the choice for them.
Once again the real answer here is punishing criminals. To such a degree that they no longer see stealing our guns as an option.
Worthy of note:
There have also been many allegations in Australia that the Police firearms register has been compromised and that criminals have used this list to select targets for burglary.
Police have denied the suggestion but the evidence for this seems compelling.
The Kiwi Gun Blog have asked our own police if they are aware of any case of the firearm records kept being compromised by unauthorized users.
Further, if an audit has ever been performed on the security of our firearm records.
We will update you on their response.
It would not be the first time that government computer records have been compromised – as seen HERE.