​New laws target illegal gun trade

Issued: Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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Tougher penalties will apply to illegal firearm offences following the Martin Place Siege, under proposed laws introduced to NSW Parliament today to combat the illegal gun trade.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Justice Troy Grant today introduced the Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, which delivers on a commitment by the NSW Government in August to strengthen the state’s gun laws.

“We are creating some of the toughest gun laws in the country and people who deal in or possess illegal guns are firmly in our sights,’’ Mr Grant said.

“It’s clear that the illegal gun market is where the threat to the community lies so that is our focus.’’

The Bill:

  • Creates a new offence for the possession of a stolen firearm, which will carry a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment;

  • Increases the maximum penalty for defacing or altering any identifying mark on any firearm or firearm part, or for possessing a defaced or altered firearm or firearm part, from five years to 14 years’ imprisonment;

  • Applies consistent maximum penalties of 14 years’ imprisonment to a range of other offences relating to unauthorised possession, use, supply, or acquisition of firearms where the firearm involved is a pistol, a prohibited firearm, or is defaced, unregistered or stolen; and

  • Includes a ban on the possession of digital blueprints that enable firearms to be manufactured using 3D printers and milling machines for anyone without an appropriate licence.

Mr Grant said the Bill will be supported by the creation of an Illegal Firearms Investigation and Reward Scheme. The scheme will offer rewards of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person for possession of an illegal firearm and will also fund police investigations, including undercover operations.

The package follows a recommendation of the Martin Place Siege Joint Review report, released in February, that the Commonwealth and the States and Territories should give further consideration to measures to deal with illegal firearms.