AN E-mail bungle by Queensland Police has exposed the personal details of hundreds of the
state’s licensed firearm owners, sparking security concerns being raised by one of
Queensland’s peak pro-shooting organisations.
A police officer in the Moreton Police District, encompassing parts of the Moreton Bay
region, sent an e-mail to more than 350 licensed gun owners on Wednesday, advising them
to ensure their firearms security was in order following a series of break-ins in the region.
However, the sender did not hide the recipient’s e-mail addresses, meaning every single
person who received the e-mail also received the names and e-mail addresses of the other
Shooters Union Queensland president Graham Park said while it might sound like a
harmless error of the type anyone could make, it could have extremely serious
“Thanks to this error, the details of several hundred licensed gun owners have been
exposed including their names and e-mail addresses,” he said.
“It might not sound like much, but that alone is enough for someone with criminal intent to
start piecing together the location of hundreds of firearms in the area.”
Moreton District Officer Superintendent John Hallam said investigations showed human error was the cause of the breach of more than 1,200 email addresses.
“The email address of the licensed weapon holders was placed in the ‘to’ line of the email as opposed to the blind copy line,” he said.
“It was an honest mistake — there’s been nothing to indicate the officer did it for any other reason.
“The officer did endeavour to recall the email as soon as she realised what the error was but unfortunately that was unsuccessful.”
Mr Hallam acknowledged the concern from the shooting community.
“I accept that the error is unacceptable. I understand how it occurred but it is unacceptable,” he said.
“I understand there is a level of concern amongst the people that their personal details have been sent out.
“What was sent out was their email address and their email address only and it went to other licensed weapons holders.”
Shooters Union president Graham Park said the error cast more doubt on the firearm registry system in Queensland.
“This system is supposed to be a highly secure system,” he said.
Mr Park said while gun owners were, by legislation and their nature, among the very most
trustworthy and law-abiding people in the community, an additional concern was how the
information came to be mishandled in the first place.
“It seems a lot like all these e-mail addresses were somehow put in a spreadsheet or text
document or something like that, then copied into an e-mail address field,” he said.
“The fact there’s an option in the firearms management software to mass-extract e-mail
addresses is a gigantic security flaw that raises extremely serious questions about the
integrity of the firearms registry system in Queensland as a whole.
“What other data can be pulled out easily and transferred elsewhere?”
Shooters Union Australia has contacted the Police Minister requesting the situation be resolved – not just with an apology and a shrug, but a commitment to fix the issues and
ensure affected shooters are protected and compensated if they suffer any adverse affects
from the breach.
“The irony is one of the advice items from the police to licence-holders in the e-mail was
‘Don’t make it public knowledge that you possess firearms’,” Mr Park said.
“That’s now off the table for those several hundred gun owners, all because of a situation
outside their control and which shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”
from Jim O’Toole
The Queensland Police Service, under pressure from the Labor Party is attempting to crucify a 69 year old Cairns resident, Errol Copley, for catching a 3 metre crocodile on a 68lb mackerel fishing line. The croc eventually died.
Wildlife officers from the Environment Department came across the dead croc when looking for ‘illegal’ fish nets in a creek running through Mr Copley’s farm at Deeral, south of Cairns
The officers set up a covert camera which caught Mr Copley disposing of the dead croc on January 18.
He was subsequently fined $500 in the Cairns Magistrates Court.
Mr Copley said he had no intention of catching such a large croc on a set, light line but due to its short length the croc was unable to return to the water after the hook pierced the gut wall and lodged in the reptile’s heart.
The semi-retired cane farmer and commercial fisherman removes mangrove shoots on mud flats near the Cairns Esplanade as a part-time job.
Police want to make an example of Mr Copley by dragging him back to the Magistrates Court arguing his original $500 fine and no conviction would not deter farmers from slaughtering crocs.
Police and the Labor Party’s environment department want the fine increased to $7000.
Herein lies Mr Copley’s defence.
Ever since former Premier Peter Beattie in 2001 unlawfully altered the Queensland Constitution by copyrighting Acts of Parliament to himself including the Public Service Act and removing the Queen, public servants are now responsible only to political party corporations.
Police, employed by the corporation and held to the Public Service Act since then have been unlawfully operating as judge, jury and executioner. Demanding any penalty is unlawful.
A Magistrate sitting in an unconstitutional court can determine the amount of a fine however Mr Copley would be foolish if he paid it.
The corporate State Labor government and its public servants are so far out of touch they have no idea how many crocs have been killed over the past decade by fed-up farmers, fishermen, Aborigines and tourists.
Anecdotal evidence would suggest many hundreds of crocs are killed each year across the north yet their numbers have exploded in places where the dangerous saurians have never been seen before.
Cairns News encourages farmers to rid the rivers of ferocious salt water crocodiles by whatever means possible.
The police allege Mr Copley’s crime was serious because the death occurred “over a prolonged period” and taking the carcass exasperated the offence.
Mr Copley said he removed the dead croc and performed an autopsy so he could get his hook back.
Why would he leave a dead croc in a waterway to pollute the water?
Well done Mr Copley you have performed an honourable public safety service. – Cairns News editorial board.