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Issued: Monday, 1 June 2015
Criminals who fire guns to avoid arrest or carry out drive-by shootings will be subject to new Standard Non-Parole Periods (SNPPs) under laws designed to better reflect community standards in gun crime sentencing. The NSW Government is delivering on its election commitment to add five firearms offences to the Standard Non-Parole Period (SNPP) scheme and raise SNPPs for two other firearms and weapons offences, under legislation to be introduced to NSW Parliament this week. SNPPs give the courts strong guidance when they set an offender’s Non-Parole Period, which forms part of a total prison sentence. Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant said the new laws will help protect communities and police. “The NSW Government’s message to criminals with a gun and a grudge is that communities reject their actions and we will back our police who are doing an excellent job at tackling gun crime,’’ Mr Grant said. NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton said the changes will help ensure sentences for firearms and weapons offences better align with community expectations and reflect the seriousness of these crimes. “These new laws send a clear signal to criminals that if they want to own or worse yet use an illegal gun or weapon, they will face more time behind bars,” Ms Upton said. The laws introduce SNPPs of nine years for discharging a firearm with intent to resist arrest; nine years for discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm; six years for firing at a building with reckless disregard for safety (organised criminal activity); six years for firing at a building with reckless disregard for safety during public disorder; and five years for firing at a building with reckless disregard for safety. Existing SNPPs will be increased for unauthorised possession or use of a firearm (from three to four years) and unauthorised possession or use of a prohibited weapon (from three to five years). The NSW Sentencing Council recommended the changes to better reflect the objective seriousness of firearms and weapons crimes.