The Tasmania Firearms Act is expected to have 50 amendments aimed at reducing firearms theft.

Draft Firearms Act amendments target LAFOs


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A report in the Tasmania media reveals that the state is infor tougher gun laws with a review into its Firearms Act recommending a raft ofchanges.

Typically they’re predominantly aimed at law-abidingfirearms owners, with those who own 15 or more guns expected to installexpensive electronic alarm systems.

The thrust of the draft legislation that contains 50 amendmentsto the Firearms Act is to reduce firearm theft in the wake of a number ofbig-haul burglaries.

According to the report, that appeared in The Examiner, twohomes in Launceston were targeted by firearms thieves and 15 guns were takenfrom a single residence in the south of the state.

It said that Jacksons Security quoted the averagethree-detector alarm system would cost about $1000.

The surveillance equipment would also have to be monitoredby a security company or linked to the gun owner’s mobile phone, which costsextra.

The strict new security provisions would impact on about 370licence holders out of the state’s 38,000 gun owners.

The draft legislation, expected to be tabled in Parliamentnext month, was slammed by the Liberal Party, which said it was punishinglaw-abiding gun owners for the government’s “reckless decision to brutallyslash police numbers”.

“Instead of making gun owners turn their houses intomini-replicas of Fort Knox, the Labor-Green experiment should instead back theLiberals’ plan to create a serious and organised crime squad that will focus ongetting to the bottom of gun crime in Tasmania,” Liberal police spokeswomanElise Archer said.

Police Minister David O’Byrne has described the Liberals’plan as a “cheap political fix to divert 14 officers away from their currenteffective strategy, to form a special unit”, which won’t work.

“In comparison, we’re investing an additional $31 million tobolster front-line police numbers – including 50 additional recruit places justthis year,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“Our target is to keep our community the safest in Australia- Elise Archer’s target is to win an election by frightening Tasmanians.”

According to Tasmania Police, there were 247 firearms stolenacross the state in 2012-13 with only 48 of those recovered.

The draft legislation also includes harsher penalties forpeople caught in possession of illegal, unregistered or stolen firearms andrequires ammunition to be stored in the same way as firearms.

However, a proposal to ban the use of hardwoodstorage facilities has been ruled out.


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Justin Law

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