NSW police have told gun owners they have “an exhaustive list of grounds to revoke a licence, and we will do so” after conducting state-wide raids in which 80 firearms were seized and nine people had their licences revoked.
A further five people had firearm licences suspended and 30,000 rounds of ammunition were seized.
Police said the raids were targeted at 19 people they alleged have connections to criminal organisations.
“In the case of many of these identified targets – due to their alleged links to organised crime – their firearm licences and firearms were either revoked or suspended,” Detective Superintendent Cameron Lindsay, commander of the NSW Firearms Registry, said.
One man was charged with safe storage offences as well as possessing a prohibited weapon after police allegedly found a slingshot.
Another was alleged to have a suppressor attached to a firearm without a permit and was charged with possessing a prohibited weapon in additional to storage offences.
The raids, Operation Pendula, were conducted by the Raptor Squad, a unit that targets criminal gangs, in conjunction with police intelligence and the Firearms Registry.
“Firearm regulation is an ongoing tactic in disrupting organised criminal networks and working with the NSW Firearms registry to revoke licences and seize guns from their associates is just another tool in our arsenal,” Raptor Squad commander Detecting Acting Superintendent Stuart Gordon said, adding that none of the 19 targets were alleged to have been directly involved in crime.
“This operation is all about removing criminals’ access to guns – whether lawfully held by other people or not.
“The NSW Police Force have significant powers to keep the community safe and choosing to be involved in organised crime – or associating with those who are – guarantees police attention.”