The NSW Parliament has passed legislation that will give police more power in managing criminal groups and firearm ownership.
The Firearms and Criminal Groups Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (NSW) received assent on 23 October 2013. This legislation, when it commences, will:
- amend the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW) to empower police officers to enter and search premises occupied by a person who is subject to a firearms prohibition order to determine whether the person is complying with the order, to prohibit such persons from acquiring or possessing firearms, and from residing at premises where firearms ae present, and from attending certain other places such as gun shops and shooting ranges; to modify existing offences in relation to the sale of firearms, and to create an offence to give possession of a firearm or firearm part to a person who is not authorised to possess it. Changes have also been made to the right to review a firearms prohibition order in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.
- amend the Restricted Premises Act 1943 (NSW) to increase penalties for offences relating to reputed criminals attending premises and to allow police to search such premises for firearms and other weapons.
- amend the Crime Commission Act 2012 (NSW) to enable the Crime Commission to investigate matters relating to the criminal activities of a specified criminal group.
For more details about this Act, see the Firearms and Criminal Groups Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 - you can read the second reading speech and explanatory notes. Those in the community who are most likely to feel the impact of this new legislation are members of bikie gangs, particularly if their gang has been listed as a specified criminal group.
Will this legislation have any impact upon the use of firearms in the community? Read the following opinion piece:
- 'Hard evidence: does gun control work?' by Peter Squires, The Conversation, 19 September 2013
To read more on the criminal justice issues that this legislation relates to see our research guides: