American anti-gunners adore Australian gun control laws. After all, it’s the country they most want to see the United States model itself after.
However, it seems that despite its tough gun laws, parts of Australia are having serious issues.
As far as regulation goes, gun control is one area you’d hope government got right.
But it appears this is not the case in Western Australia.
WA Police “has significant weaknesses in its regulatory controls and information systems”, says state Auditor General Caroline Spencer in a new audit looking at the effectiveness of WA Police’s regulatory approach to firearms licensing and monitoring, and key information systems used to support these functions.
Assessments and decision making “lack demonstrated rigour and transparency”, increasing the risk the wrong decision will be made, says the auditor. “Further, the audit also found there is limited monitoring of compliance with licence conditions, and when police does inspect, it is not informed by a documented risk assessment. Police is also slow to follow up when licences have expired or for deceased estate firearms.
“Risk-based and timely compliance activities are essential to effective regulation of firearms. Police’s key firearm licensing information system does not effectively support the entity to carry out its licensing and compliance activities. Basic licence and compliance information is unreliable and hard to get.” This finding is particularly concerning as the WA auditor general highlighted many of these same problems in previous audits, having looked at this issue four times since 2000.
Now, it’s easy to point to the enforcement and say, “Oh, but we’ll do it better,” but don’t.
The problem with any law is how will it be enforced. Laws themselves are little more than words on a page somewhere. They have to be enforced by individuals, and that creates problems.
Despite Australia’s incredibly strict laws, the enforcement isn’t quite what Aussie anti-gunners would prefer. There are issues, and those are issues that won’t stay on their side of the Pacific. There are none of the listed issues that are likely to be unique to Australian law enforcement.
The truth is that the police already have a lot on their plate. Saddling them with administrative burdens like the Australian scheme does won’t keep anyone safe. Instead, it’ll stretch limited law enforcement resources even further, perhaps so much so that something gets missed.
It should be noted that despite the failure to properly enforce gun laws, Western Australia hasn’t turned into the OK Corral and isn’t littered with the bodies of those killed in mass shootings. Yet mass shootings are the reason we’re expected to bend over an allow such gun control schemes to take hold here in the United States.
Well, it seems that Australian gun control isn’t the end all, be all it’s been cited as. There are significant problems with enforcement, which means the only people complying with the law are those who are too law-abiding to try and get away with anything.