The NSW Government is taking further steps to crack down on gun crime by giving police wide ranging new powers to search for firearms and targeting criminal hang outs, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Police Michael Gallacher announced recently.
“These tough new laws target those individuals subject to firearm bans by giving police greater search powers, increasing penalties for illegal possession of firearms, and cracking down on criminal hang outs and crime dens,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“Criminals who carry weapons illegally need to know police will be able to stop and search for them in their cars, in their homes and in their workplace – there won’t be any place for them to hide,” he said.
“The community rightly expects people who use illegal guns to be caught and to face the full weight of the law.
“Tackling gun crime is a key priority for the NSW Government, which is why we are determined to hand police extra powers.
“Under our changes, police will be able to detain a person who is subject to a firearm ban to search them for guns.
“The changes mean officers can also search their cars and their premises for firearms.
“We will also increase the penalty from 10 to 14 years in jail for the possession and/or supply of a firearm or pistol for a person who is subject to a firearm ban.
“These laws will also give police more powers to search for guns without a warrant in criminal hang outs known as disorderly houses,” he said.
Mr Gallacher said the current laws on firearm bans are ineffective and, as a result, are rarely issued by police.
“The tough new measures will be introduced to the Parliament this week and come following consultation with NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione,” Mr Gallacher said.
“Police have been doing a fantastic job fighting gun crime - with officers taking 9,000 guns, including 729 handguns, off the streets last year,” he said.
“Last month police launched Operation Talon to combat gun crime – it draws on the combined resources of all local area commands, squads from within the State Crime Command, officers from the Major Events and Incidents Group and support from specialist commands.
“The NSW Government and police will not rest while criminals are using guns to harm and intimidate others.”
The NSW Government has previously given police additional powers to crack down on criminals and gun-related crime. The NSW Government has:
·employed an additional 420 police officers;
·strengthened consorting offences to stop criminals associating;
·tightened the supply of ammunition to stop it falling into the hands of criminals;
·passed tough anti-outlaw motorcycle gang laws which declares them criminal organisations;
·reformed the Crime Commission to refocus on organised crime;
·changed the right to silence laws to help compel witnesses to co-operate with investigators;
·introduced a licensing scheme with stringent probity checks for owners and operators of tattoo parlours;
·banned bikies wearing their colours in Kings Cross venues;
·passed new laws to stop criminals from putting forward ambush defences;
·reformed the security industry to stop organised crime involvement in the industry;
·rolled out Automatic Number Plate Recognition Technology (ANPR) to quickly identify criminals on the roads; and,
·rolled out 25 new Mobile Police Command Vehicles to have ‘police stations on wheels’ moving around the community.