'Queensland's most charged person' wins again
FOR a Justice of the Peace, Gympie gun dealer Ron Owen has had a lot of run-ins with the police.
This month he further increased his lead over all rivals for the self annointed title, "most charged innocent man in Queensland."
Claiming to have faced more than 2850 charges, he says he has beaten them all.
Yesterday he revealed that he had now received one more vindication, when police withdrew an assault charge involving a person Mr Owen claimed was lawfully removed from his McMahon Rd gun shop.
The defence was that he acted lawfully, but that police did not when an officer seized the shop's CCTV footage.
Mr Owen says the would-be customer had become agitated at the time staff took to finalise a eight-month old lay-by, so much so that Mr Owen refunded payments, rather than take responsibility for arming him. Yesterday Mr Owen said police wrote to him this week, saying the charge had been withdrawn.
But Mr Owen insists it is not a case of him beating the law. It has always been, he says, a case of the law protecting the the citizen against sometimes mistaken agents of the state.
Some of his trouble started years ago, when he published a recipe for black powder, something which he says could also be found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Then came the gun de-activation case, in which he was charged with de-activating guns other than by approved methods.
He made history (and The Gympie Times front page) by re-activating an approved replica in less than 15 minutes, at the bar table of the Gympie Magistrates Court, armed only with a screwdriver and pliers. The witness forced to acknowledge his point was the head of police Ballistics.
"I would have done it quicker if I'd remembered to put the firing pin back in the first time," Mr Owen said later. "And did you notice I didn't use the pliers?"
Then came the gun buy-back in which he proved, using data from police computers (purchased second hand at a police auction), that he was being paid less than anyone else for "millions of dollars worth of gun parts."
An attempt was once also made to cancel his gun dealer's licence.
Once, after civil action in which police were ordered to pay costs, he says he had to take further action to force payment. At one point he and his family were offered witness protection by the then Criminal Justice Commission.
He refused, because it would have silenced him.
He wonders how many others, without such generous legal support, have suffered serious injustice.