Killer dad had gun permit reserved for visiting FBI agents
EVIL father John Edwards was one of only a handful of people given a special gun licence usually restricted to visiting secret service agents.
Police data obtained yesterday under freedom of information legislation shows that in 2017 Edwards received one of only 21 so-called Commissioner's Permits out of 52,042 firearms licences issued in NSW that year.
The Daily Telegraph can also reveal NSW Police was so embarrassed by Edwards obtaining a Commissioner's Permit, the term has been dropped.
How the vengeful accountant obtained the special gun licence will be a major part of the inquest into the deaths of Edwards and his two children, Jack, 15, and Jennifer, 13, whom Edwards shot in cold blood in his ex-wife's home last month before killing himself.
The licence enabled him to join St Marys Indoor Shooting Range in April last year where he spent more than $3000 on 24 target-shooting visits, loading up on ammunition two weeks before the murders.
The controversial permits, which are signed off by the NSW Firearms registry and not the police commissioner, are usually only issued in exceptional cases such as security for visiting dignitaries or FBI officers, a source said.
A disgraced soldier, Edwards, 67, had already been turned away from the Ku-ring-gai Pistol Club and two other gun clubs in the Hornsby Rifle Range because of his admission on his P650 form to acquire a licence.
When applying to start firearms safety training, Edwards ticked the box that asked if he had ever been refused a licence, a source said.
As well as having serious concerns about Edwards who began to stalk staff, it is illegal for gun clubs to allow anyone who answers "yes" to any of the six questions to use a gun.
Edwards then applied to the Firearms Registry under clauses in the Firearms Act and the Firearms Regulation to "replace" and "ignore" the yes answer.
He said he had previously been refused a gun licence because he had applied before 10 years had elapsed since an AVO had been taken out against him.
By early last year, those 10 years had elapsed and Edwards was legally entitled to a firearms licence, a source said.
Whether he should have been given one was another matter, victims' advocate Howard Brown said.
Mr Brown said the alarm bells that had rung when Edwards visited the Ku-ring-gai Pistol Club had not been repeated when he filled in a form.
"Paperwork doesn't show a person's susceptibility," he said. "The gun clubs were suspicious of him and perhaps if there had been an interview at the firearm's registry they would have felt the same way."
While Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and Police Minister Troy Grant promised a review of the firearms laws in the days after the murders, neither had any comment yesterday.