Aussie Cops Issued More Rifles to Deal With Armed Criminals, Terrorists

“Despite Australia’s strict gun control regime, criminals are now better armed than at any time..."

New South Wales Public Order and Riot Squad officers with Colt M4 carbine
New South Wales Public Order and Riot Squad officers with Colt M4 carbines.photo from guns.com

Australia…the idealistic nirvana envisioned for the United States by the most fervent anti-gunners where nobody has any guns accept a few hunting shotguns here and there, all registered and tracked—a place where a bolt action rifle was recently banned simply because it looked too much like an AR.

Yet, if the nation is such a prime example for the merits of gun control, why is it that law enforcement officers in Australia are increasingly being issued patrol rifles to deal with the threat of criminals…armed with guns…and potential terrorist attacks?

According to this story from guns.com, a spokesperson for Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton in Victoria said state police are considering expanding the use of semi-automatic rifles for police.

"To enhance our abilities to respond to a major security incident or terrorism attack, we are currently scoping the potential use of a limited allocation of long-arm firearms to better support frontline police," said an Ashton spokesman in the story.

Additionally, this story from The Age says that the police commissioner in New South Wales confirmed last December that 47 officers were trained on Colt M4 carbines while another 50 are slated to be trained.

“Despite Australia’s strict gun control regime, criminals are now better armed than at any time since then-Prime Minister John Howard introduced a nationwide firearm buyback scheme in response to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre...”

- —The Age

In Queensland, senior officers have had Remington R4 Patrolman rifles for years.

You may have heard that Australia hasn't had a significant shooting event since 1996 when the nation instituted a wide ban on most types of firearms. From the story, it seems that all the heavy-handed gun laws have not stopped criminals from obtaining firearms:

“…In the so-called Brighton Siege last year four people were shot, one fatally, by a terrorist with an illegally acquired shotgun. “In 2016, five people were killed in a mass shooting in Port Lincoln, while police engaging a knife-armed man in Westfield Hornsby left three bystanders injured. Though banned, an AK-47 type rifle was reportedly used in the Ingleburn workplace shooting that left one dead and two more injured the same year. In NSW in 2015, police arrested a man who used a firearm in a triple murder in the rural Hermidale community.”

"Despite Australia's strict gun control regime, criminals are now better armed than at any time since then-Prime Minister John Howard introduced a nationwide firearm buyback scheme in response to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre," said The Age last year in a special report on the climbing rate of gun crimes in the city of Melbourne, where shootings have become "almost a weekly occurrence."