Floreat shooting - image of ABC headline

WA Police ignored the “real and imminent threat” which led to the deaths of two women in Floreat, WA.  Labor tried to politicise it as a “gun issue”

– but even the media isn’t buying it.

Prefer the audio version?

Floreat shooting: what happened?

ON 24 MAY 2024, Mark Bombara went looking for his ex-partner at her friend’s house.  She wasn’t there, but the friend and her daughter were.  He shot & killed both before turning his “missing” Glock on himself. 

It has been alleged that he was both a licensed shooter and collector.

WA Premier, Roger Cook, was quick to take advantage of the tragedy, saying that the shooting is why the WA Government is thinking of making further changes to the state’s gun laws.  Police Minister, Paul Papalia, followed in his tracks.

That’s when things unraveled for them.

What we haven’t heard

We say it was alleged he was licenced, because that’s all we’ve been told. Perpetrators of crimes like this typically have a much more extensive history that reveals more.

Podcast image for Floreat episode

In Bombara’s case, there’s plenty. 

One thing we have ascertained is that while he had a collector’s licence, no-one in the collecting community in WA that we’ve spoken to has heard of him

Plus, we’ve heard he was a member of the WA Labor Party

If that is true, then it raises the possibility he may have obtained, and kept, his collector’s licence through Labor connections.

If WA really wants the truth to come out, then we need to know everything about Bombara. Party connections and all.

Using Floreat to lobby for more laws

Almost immediately, Western Australian Premier, Roger Cook,  told the media that further changes were being considered in response to the shooting and the state will have “the toughest gun laws in Australia”.

WA Chief Commissioner, Col Blanch, doubled down by saying that police do not have enough laws to act on information like this. 

Killer’s daughter speaks out

As we were gathering information, we became aware that the police had been warned about Bombara.

Floreat shooting - Ariel BombaraHowever, all became clearer when  Mark Bombara’s daughter, Ariel, appeared on national TV.

In her interview, she made it clear that she, and her mother, had gone to police three times, warning them that her father posed a “real and imminent threat” to their family.

Her statement is below. It is clear that the police were warned – and simply shrugged their shoulders. The statement says the police said there was ‘nothing they could do’ about the situation.

Click the statement to see a larger version.

Ariel Bombara - Floreat statement

Here’s what police could have done to prevent the Floreat shooting

Col Blanch claim for more laws - Floreat shooting

Instead of acknowledging any failures, Blanch continued to argue that more laws were needed. 

He also said that the police did not sit on their hands. 

He says police conducted a ‘risk assessment’

A risk assessment is nothing more than a cursory look at the information received. 

The result is the same: WA Police chose to do nothing.

Imagine what would have happened if the “real and imminent threat” was made to police from someone who was armed?  Yep, it would have been swift and decisive.

What the law says

The police say they didn’t have the powers to act.  Here is what Section 24 of the WA Firearms Act states:

(Click the image for a larger version)

WA police powers - Floreat shooting

These are similar to the provisions that caused Ron Sterry to lose his licence in the NT after going to the aid of a stabbed neighbour – and Peter Martin to have his licence suspended in NSW for simply showing his licence to someone else during a conversation.

Blanch says the problem is the laws aren’t strong enough. because they have been losing cases in the State Administrative Tribunal where they have had to hand licences back to those who appeal decisions.

NO, the problem isn’t the law.  Rather, WA Police lose cases in the SAT when they don’t have evidence. 

In any case, there is no evidence that Bombara took any matter to the SAT – so Blanch’s claim is irrelevant.

WA Police don’t need stronger laws:
They need better lawyers.

Media coverage of Floreat

The media was quick to pick up on Ariel’s statement and question the failings of WA Police.

One of the most impressive journalists was Ben Harvey. In an opinion piece, he stated:

“Our Police Minister was, once again, far too quick to side with those that may have had an interest in subverting the truth.

The ring of gunshots on Berkeley Crescent had barely faded when he was out defending the actions of the cops and calling for ever-tougher gun laws.

Papalia had no real idea at that early stage whether the police had stuffed up or not. He would have been relying on Col Blanch’s version of events.”

Harvey goes onto say that if the inevitable inquest finds police were culpable for the fatalities:

“… then Papalia needs to be sacked

The missing gun

It was widely reported that Bombara had a Glock handgun missing from his collection.

We’ve been told that that’s because he kept it
under the driver’s seat in his car.

We have no proof of this and we’ve seen nothing that verifies it. However it if is true, then it explains why the gun was ‘missing’, yet was used at the shooting.

The Political responses to the Floreat tragedy

Even after the Ariel Bombara interview, Labor was doubling down on what can only be described as a politically motivated response to the tragedy. 

In fact, the screenshot of the Channel 9 article that appears earlier in this article reports that Commissioner Blanch wants ‘gun laws changed to help cops fight domestic violence’.

The Nationals were quick to condemn the claims and have been strongly of the view that the gun laws going through WA Parliament do nothing other than make life tougher for shooters.

The Liberals put out a couple of statements but theirs was a weak response.

Importantly, the Nationals opposed the proposed gun laws in Parliament, while the Liberals voted with the Government. 

You might recall the Liberals tabled a petition with over 30,000 signatures to have the laws referred to a parliamentary committee, however their position to support the laws was nothing short of gutless.

That’s why shooters MUST be politically active.

… and Papalia wants even more …

Following what was clearly a terrible week in the news for Labor, Papalia is doubling down again by announcing more changes which will allow police to seize firearms if a mere complaint or allegation about domestic violence is received

As every shooter knows, interim intervention / domestic violence orders already allow police to remove firearms and have been abused by vindictive partners who are aware of this. 

However, Papalia is now lowering the threshold to that of a mere ‘complaint’, regardless of whether it can be proven.

Here’s what you need to do

WE ALL WANT governments to manage our economies, tackle crime and provide services

However I’ll be damned if I vote for a
government that wants to take my guns
!

Whoever forms government (Labor or Coalition) will still have the public service behind them to help them manage those things. 

However if we have a party that says they’re going to take your guns off you, then SAY NO!

Our advice is to allow yourself to be led by your nose on this.  Otherwise you’ll find yourself voting for more of the same.

Watch those city seats

Obviously if you can vote for a pro-gun party or candidate, then that makes the job of voting easier.

Shooters live - regional

Have another look at the ‘maps’ that the WA Government released a couple of years ago. 

You can see that the majority of shooters live in and around metropolitan areas.

It’s the same story in other cities: Perth is no different.

Inner city seats tend to be contested between Labor (& Greens) and the Liberal Parties. 

This obviously makes it difficult to vote for a pro-gun party (if there is none).

However, if you find they are your only choices, then your ‘plan b’ should be to kick the government so that they eventually work out that maybe they need to do something to stop being kicked!

That’s because governments who do not understand shooters and think there are no political repercussions for going after shooters, will keep doing more and more damage to the shooting sports until they are gone

We need to change that.  

Voting politicians down, even if their opponent isn’t any better, will still send an important message to both.

Your job is to vote against bad governments. Our job is to make sure they understand why they are losing votes.

Get active. Join Politics Reloaded

Don’t let politics take your sport away from you

Get behind pro-gun causes whenever you can.  Whether that’s a pro-gun political party or Politics Reloaded, don’t wait to become a victim of political persecution.

You can join Politics Reloaded by clicking here

Click image to join now

Joining us is just $30 a  year – which is less than 60 cents a week. 

You’ll not only be supporting the work we do, but helping to elevate our work to the national stage, through the upcoming National Gun Conference.

The conference will include presenters from across the world of politics in shooting and from across our state boundaries

It’ll focus on our problems at a national level so we can make sure that shooters everywhere know what can be done and how to do it.

Join for $30 a year

Why not put this on your club’s noticeboard? 

Tags:

guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

LIKE OUR WORK?
SIGN UP to get our regular email updates.

You'll also get direct access to our podcasts to stay up to date while driving the car, on the way to work, or when you're tinkering in the shed!
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x