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Gun debate: Does Victoria need 80 firearms stores?

Neil Mitchell has questioned whether Victoria needs 80-odd firearm stores, following yesterday’s robbery in Thornbury, where 65 hand guns were stolen in one haul.

“I’m shocked,” Neil said this morning.

“Why do we have these armories around the city, are there that many sporting shooters who need handguns?”

There are about 80 gun shops across Victoria; including in Ringwood East, Tullamarine, Clayton, Keilor East, Thornbury, Ocean Grove, Dandenong, St Albans, Oakleigh South, Doveton and Epping.

Shooters and Fishers Party of Victoria member for Northern Victoria Daniel Young said the gun store owners shouldn’t be punished, despite leaving weapons relatively unguarded.

“That’s akin to victim blaming,” he said.

“The victims at the moment are those people who had at their guns stolen.

“These gun shops are there to service people who partake in a sport, it’s no different to any other activity.”

Click PLAY to hear the interview with Daniel Young

Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana said the amount of firearms taken at once is concerning for police.

“Basically they’ll end up on the black market in the hands of criminals,” Assistant Commissioner Fontana said.

“The concern that we have is how so many could be taken in one hit.”

Click PLAY to hear from Steve Fontana