Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Letter of the Day | Give FLA boss credit for crackdown

Published:Saturday | September 16, 2017 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

While the article 'FLA goes hunting: Agency seeks 3,000 licensed firearm holders not certified during recent amnesty' (September 13, 2017) highlighted that the Firearm Licensing Authority would be working with the police to conduct a number of house-to-house searches for delinquent gun owners, it was the online comments that nauseated me. What I couldn't understand was how a story that put out such positive information could evoke such hatred and ridicule from online users.

As one of the first things undertaken from the reform agenda by new FLA CEO Shane Dalling, the recent amnesty made an estimated $17 million in six weeks, which is much more than we can say for some non-performing government agencies.

Further, the FLA has regularised the status of some 1,200 delinquent firearm holders, many of whom received those firearms from the police before the FLA came into existence. The more than 1,200 firearms were ballistic-tested for the first time. That seems like 1,200 reasons to celebrate. We now have the definitive information on more than 1,200 guns. This could be the difference between a closed case and a mystery.

Pushing the abilities of the FLA even further, Mr Dalling has indicated that the gun-licensing agency will be digitising its records to include facial recognition and fingerprinting. This will prevent persons with dual identities from accessing firearm licences. The money gained during the amnesty will be used to facilitate the transition.

The FLA's CEO is not blindly suggesting or thinking wishfully but has secured the means to ensure his agency progresses.

The level of accountability being shown by Mr Dalling and the FLA is indeed admirable. His quest to find the remaining 3,000 delinquents is unlike any ever carried out by a state agency. While they continue to urge firearm holders to come forward, the FLA will be visiting the 3,000 delinquents with the help of the police. This is the kind of action we expect to see.

They cannot sit idly back and wait but must go in search of rogue licensees.

Give the man his due!

ANDREA DAWKINS