Gun registry staffer’s startling admission

A senior gun registry officer who supervised every person involved in granting killer dad John Edwards a gun licence says she probably would have given him a licence too.

John Edwards murdered his two children Jack, 15, and Jennifer, 13, at the northwest Sydney home they shared with their mother Olga on July 5, 2018. He then drove home and killed himself.

Olga took her own life five months later.

An inquest before state coroner Teresa O’Sullivan is considering how Edwards was able to legally buy five guns, among them the Glock pistol he used to kill Jack and Jennifer.

When Edwards was being considered for a licence by the NSW Firearms Registry in mid-2017, his police database record included 18 incidents, 15 of them related to apprehended violence orders, stalking and assault allegations and domestic disputes.

He had previously been refused a licence in 2010 as he had been subject to an AVO in the previous 10 years.

The AVO in question was taken out by an ex-partner between 2000 and 2003.

A senior registry staff member, whose name is suppressed, told the inquest she had worked at the registry since 2001 and supervised every person involved in granting Edwards the licence.

Several officers who considered Edwards’ application were fixated on checking if the 2000-2003 AVO fell in the past 10 years, which it did not, the inquest heard.

The rest of his record, comprised of reports to police with no charges and interim and provisional AVOs, was not looked at by multiple registry officers.

The senior supervisor said she did not have the database record in front of her, but if the AVO had expired in 2003 and Edwards was applying in 2017, then she would have likely granted the licence too.

“Obviously hindsight, it’s a wonderful thing, we’ve all been quite traumatised by what happened,” she said.

“But based on the information at that time, and things have changed since then, I probably would have granted the licence as well.”

She agreed that no red flag was placed on Edwards’ licence after the 2010 licence refusal and it should have been.

The inquest was told on Tuesday there was significant confusion among registry officers as to whose job it was to actually carry out a comprehensive police database check.

The inquest continues.

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