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Pro-gun group claims shotgun rampage shows our gun laws are ‘utterly failing’

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The pregnant ex-partner of a man shot dead by police in Sydney's West claims she received death threats in the lead up to Wednesday night's shooting spree. Daniel King, 32, allegedly opened fire on two police stations and a home in Marayong before he was shot dead by officers outside Penrith Police Station about 9.30pm on Wednesday. One bullet allegedly fired by Mr King narrowly missed the face of a police officer instead grazing the back of his head. The officer required emergency medical attention and is recovering from his injury in hospital. Mr King’s ex partner Stacey Taylor claimed he had been threatening her since he discovered she was carrying his child. An investigation is ongoing.

Daniel King was shot dead by police last night. Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram

A pro-gun group claims a bodybuilder’s shotgun rampage western Sydney last night proves Australia’s gun laws are “utterly failing”.

Daniel King was shot dead outside a police station after he opened fire on officers, ending an hour-long rampage that saw two stations and a suburban home come under fire.

It comes four months after Darwin’s horrific mass shooting in June — when a gunman shot and killed four people — and five months after Australia’s worst mass shooting in more than 20 years, when seven people, including four children, were shot dead in Perth.

The weapon King used last night, a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, was the same weapon that was used by the alleged Darwin shooter Ben Hoffmann.

It is also illegal under the national firearms agreement.

Pro-gun group Firearm Owners United says the laws aren’t stopping criminals getting their hand on them — going as far as to say the laws are “utterly failing”.

“The incident overnight has once again sadly demonstrated that the firearms laws are ineffectual in stopping those who shouldn’t have firearms from obtaining them illegally,” the group’s President Kirk Yatras told news.com.au.

Daniel King was shot dead by police last night. Picture: Instagram

Daniel King was shot dead by police last night. Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram

“The reality is that the National Firearms Agreement created an enormous market of illicit firearms, especially for Category C firearms which are low capacity pump action shotguns, semiautomatic shotguns and semiautomatic rimfires.”

Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy of NSW Police Metropolitan Field Operations told reporters this morning that initial inquiries suggest King was not a licensed gun owner.

Mr Yatras said pump action shotguns were enormously popular prior to the 1996 bans and remain in significant volume off the books.

“Those unregistered firearms are now subject to no accountability and with an inherent illegality often find their way into criminal hands on the black market,” he said.

There was similar backlash against Australia’s firearms laws after the Darwin shooting in June — when US media and gun groups rounded on Australia, saying our laws are clearly not working.

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They pointed out that gun ownership has increased over the past 20 years and mass shootings still continue, despite all the efforts that have been made to take them off the street.

Today, there are roughly 3.2 million firearms in circulation, according to gunpolicy.org, and reports show that gun owners now have more guns — about 3.9 guns each compared with 2.1 guns in 1997.

Police believe the shooter was using a pump-action shotgun. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP

Police believe the shooter was using a pump-action shotgun. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAPSource:AAP

However, Associate Professor Philip Alpers told news.com.au after the criticism of Australia following the Darwin shooting that our gun laws are still some of the best in the world.

He said police “almost always” find that the guns they seize have been manufactured and imported legally before being legitimately sold to a lawful firearm owner.

Professor Alpers said the buybacks and amnesties that have taken place since 1996 have been successful but, in essence, we’re all still playing catch-up from our gun-loving legacy.

Around 23 years ago, he says Australia was importing 250,000 guns a year — racking up to an estimated 3.2 million guns lying in Aussie homes by 1996.

And, many of these guns have an extraordinarily long shelf life.

We’ve also legally imported one million single shotguns since 1996, according to GunPolicy.org.

So, although it’s possible there are more guns in Australia than there were in 1996, Professor Alpers says the population increase since then means rate of firearm ownership is now 23 per cent lower, per capita.

Australia has legally imported one million single shot guns since 1996. Picture: Getty Images

Australia has legally imported one million single shot guns since 1996. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

It also looks like there has been a great leap in prosecutions for illegal gun ownership, but Professor Alpers said this is actually a good sign — because police forces have set up specialist task forces since 1996 to crack down on illicit owners, meaning the arrests have gone up.

He added the national firearms agreement has been an overwhelming success in saving lives, as you are now almost 50 per cent less likely to be killed by a gun in Australia.

However, Firearm Owners United says last night’s shooting should be a wake-up call.

It wants to see the NSW Government to introduce a grandfathering amnesty that would allow those with Category AB licenses to bring previously unregistered Category C firearms under those licenses.

It believes this would help reduce the “significant pool of unregistered firearms in the illegal market”.

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