SSAA National cautiously welcomes the federal government’s plan to introduce mandatory minimum five-year jail terms for illegal firearm trafficking, and congratulates the Minister for Justice Michael Kennan on focusing on the illegal use of firearms.
The targeting by law enforcement agencies of gun traffickers and criminals who trade and misuse firearms is a mature response, which acknowledges that law-abiding firearms owners are not the dominant source of black market firearms in this country.
We look forward to seeing the detailed legislation on its tabling at parliament in the near future, and will continue to be vigilant that no laws or regulations adversely effect our members and Australia’s sports shooters and recreational hunters.
The following press release from the Hon Tony Abbot MP, Prime Minister and the Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice was released on July 4:
Ensuring our streets, homes and communities are safe will take tough and effective measures to assist the fight against crime.
Taking a national approach to gun-related crime is one measure that will help make communities safer.
New legislation will be introduced this month to target gun-related crimes that will implement minimum mandatory five-year jail terms for illegal firearm trafficking.
The Australian Crime Commission estimates there are 250,000 illicit ‘longarms’ and at least 10,000 illicit handguns in Australia.
Even a small number of illegal firearms can have a significant impact on crime on our streets.
The Government will target gun traffickers and criminals who move firearms and firearm parts into and out of Australia.
Anyone caught in the illegal firearms trade will face mandatory minimum sentences of five years under the new regime. Light sentencing sends the wrong message to criminals.
Police officers are putting themselves at risk to serve members of the public and they need the public’s backing, especially from the government.
This is part of our commitment to ensure a safe and secure Australia, with prosperous and strong communities.