New firearms offences planned in South Australia crackdown on guns

Police display gunsPhoto: Police displayed guns at the news conference (ABC News: Nick Harmsen)

The South Australian Government said it would take more steps to crack down on gun crime.

Premier Jay Weatherill said new offences would be created and police given wide-ranging additional powers.

Under planned changes to the Firearms Act, the trafficking of firearms will become an offence, with a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

People unlawfully in possession of a loaded firearm could face a fine of $75,000 or 15 years in jail.

Mr Weatherill said police would be given greater search powers and the authority to seize equipment used for manufacturing and altering firearms parts.

“These proposed reforms build on tough new laws we introduced in March this year and send a very clear message that the trafficking, supply, unlawful possession and use of illegal firearms will not be tolerated,” he said.

Police Assistant Commissioner Linda Williams said more support for police efforts would be welcome.

“We believe these amendments to the Firearms Act will improve public safety,” she said.

“This legislation will be focused squarely on illegal weapons and the criminals who use them.”

Planned changes to Firearms Act

It would become an offence to traffic in firearms, with a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.
Government plans to broaden possession legislation to make it an aggravating factor if an unlawful weapon is loaded, exposing the offender to a maximum penalty of a $75,000 fine or 15 years in jail.
Planned to make it an offence to possess a detachable magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, with a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine or two years in jail.
Would become an offence to be in possession of a silencer, mechanism or fitting found together with a firearm, with a maximum penalty of a $75,000 fine or 15 years in jail.
It would become an offence to reactivate, or attempt to reactivate, a deactivated firearm, or to make alterations to a firearm which changes its legal classification.