Australia – -(AmmoLand.com)- In a case of “you can’t have one, but I need one for my own protection”, police in the Australian state of Victoria are set to buy and fit 600 AR-15s for their patrol cars.
At a whopping $28,000 (US) per gun.
National Shooting Council spokesman, Peter Zabrdac, said the announcement that the government was going to spend AUD $25m (US $17m) to buy the guns is reportedly being done in the fight against terrorism and gun crime. That works out to AUD $41,000 or US $28,000 per gun.
Covering the acquisition with a veil of secrecy
“We all want our police to be armed and protected, but no-one can explain why the cost per firearm is ten times the going rate,” Mr Zabrdac said.
The acquisition will include five new mobile units, training and probably some additional storage, but attempts by our Council to find out how the money will be spent or whether the police will even go to tender are not available.
“Even when you take the additional costs into account, the government has not explained why the cost is so high, or who is going to profit from it,” he said.
An admission that Australian gun laws don’t work
Mr Zabrdac said the announced AUD$25m (US $17m) announcement also is a bad look for gun laws in Australia which do not permit citizens to own semi-automatic rifles, including AR-15s.
Terrorism attacks have been few and unsophisticated, and changes to Australia’s gun laws in 1996 had no effect on gun crime – so the acquisition cannot be explained by either of those two things.
“The only remaining possibility is that the police want them because they will enjoy the new look, even if it serves no real purpose” he said.
“In fact, it creates the risk of encouraging people to join the police force for the wrong reason. If Victorian’s needed that level of protection, we would be better off calling in the army”
“Unfortunately, the Victorian Government has a poor track record when it comes to managing the firearms portfolio. Only last year it brought in new laws aimed at targeting criminals without consulting anyone, with the result that they were successfully challenged by an alleged bikie.”
“The Victorian Government doesn’t understand the gun debate and has decided to throw millions of taxpayer dollars at an extravagance that has nothing to do with protecting the community,” he said.
Peter Zabrdac is the Vice President of the National Shooting Council – www.nationalshooting.org.au
Australian National Shooting Council
The National Shooting Council is Australia’s peak political and lobbying group for shooters and shooting organizations who are sick and tired of the political attacks on what we do.
The Council is led by people with significant political experience from both sides of the political spectrum – and with track records showing what can be done when the right people come together. www.nationalshooting.org.au