April 30, 2012
The State Government is cracking down on illegal firearms, announcing plans to prepare new legislation for tougher penalties and mandatory jail terms as part of its plan to reduce crime.
Premier Campbell Newman said today the amendments, which Cabinet had resolved in principle to implement subject to more detailed consideration and consultation, would give Queensland the toughest gun laws in Australia.
“These changes will send the clearest message to the community that the trafficking, supply, unlawful possession and use of illegal firearms will not be tolerated,” Mr Newman said.
“We will do what’s necessary to protect innocent Queenslanders and reduce crime.”
The proposed amendments include:
- An offender convicted of trafficking illegal firearms will serve a mandatory minimum term of five years in custody.
- An offender convicted of supplying illegal firearms will serve a mandatory minimum term of three years in custody.
- An offender convicted of possessing an illegal firearm that is used in the commission of an indictable offence will serve a mandatory minimum term of 18 months in custody.
- An offender who unlawfully possesses an illegal firearm for the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of an indictable offence will serve a mandatory minimum term of one year in custody.
- An offender convicted of possessing an illegal firearm in a public place will serve a mandatory minimum term of one year in custody.
The legislation will also make provisions for a voluntary handback scheme and registration amnesty.
A State Government media release noted that Cabinet had resolved that it “would not support any erosion of the rights of law-abiding firearm owners”.
Mr Newman said the LNP Government made no apologies for using every single possible mechanism to deal with these criminal activities, including looking at enforcing Labor’s anti-association laws which have never been used.
“We will not allow criminal elements to flout the law. Recent violence has only strengthened our resolve. I cannot be any clearer,” Mr Newman said.
“However, criminals and criminal gangs who should be on notice that the LNP Government takes law enforcement seriously and will do what’s necessary to protect the community.”