LNP busts gun crime with tough new laws

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has announced a crackdown on gun crime and called for bi-partisan support for stronger weapon laws to keep the community safe.

Ms Frecklington said tough laws introduced to Parliament by the LNP today would deliver a new offence to cover drive by shootings, increase penalties for gun crime, and disrupt the manufacture of 3D-printed firearms.

“The safety of Queenslanders must be the first priority of government,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Sadly, Queensland currently has some of the weakest gun crime laws in Australia under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“Where there should be tough penalties and tight protections, there are weak punishments and glaring holes in Queensland laws.

“The surge in organised criminal gangs and bikie shootouts in broad daylight warrant tougher, practical measures to end gun violence in Queensland.

“The community has a right to feel safe and I call on Annastacia Palaszczuk to put politics aside and support the LNP’s common sense reforms.

“Queensland will be a safer place if our gun crime laws are passed in Parliament.”

LNP Shadow Police Minister Trevor Watts said a key focus of the Private Members Bill was prohibiting high risk offenders from acquiring, possessing or using a firearm.

“Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPO) allow police to prohibit high risk offenders with a history of violence or links with criminal or terrorist organisations from acquiring, possessing or using a gun,” Mr Watts said.

“FPOs have helped mitigate gun crime in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. The LNP’s Bill will deliver Queensland police the valuable crime-preventing measure as well.

“Queenslanders will be safer if we stop criminals from getting their hands on a firearm.”

Mr Watts said there was currently no specific offence in Queensland covering drive by shootings.

“Labor watered down the LNP’s tough laws and cut the police budget, which was an open invitation for bikies to come back to Queensland and bring organised crime with them,” he said.

“The LNP’s laws introduce a new offence directly targeted at drive by shootings because we don’t want innocent Queenslanders caught in the crossfire.

“Under the LNP’s laws, a person who commits a drive by faces up to 16 years in jail.

“We also can’t afford to lag behind technology, which is why our laws target the possession of digital blueprints and devices like 3D printers for the manufacture of firearms.

“Our hard-working police will be empowered with new offences to charge criminals with and increased penalties to keep gun crime offenders behind bars.”

Mr Watts said the LNP’s carefully drafted policy targets criminal activity while respecting the rights of law-abiding firearm owners.

“Under our laws, primary producers and law-abiding firearm owners will still have full access to the weapons required for the management of their properties,” he said.

“In fact we have increased the punishment for stealing a firearm to crack down on gun theft.”

The LNP’s proposed offences and penalty increases for gun crime

Offence Description New or existing offence Current penalty Proposed penalty
Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPO) FPOs assist in mitigating gun crime and is targeted at high risk individuals (e.g. history of violence). The overriding objective of an FPO is to allow the Commissioner to make an FPO to prevent a high risk person from acquiring, possessing or using a firearm. There are numerous offences within the FPO framework. New offence framework  n/a Varies for each offence. The most common FPO offence, “Prohibition on persons acquiring, possessing or using firearms, firearm parts or ammunition” carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment for firearm or firearm part or a 7 years imprisonment for ammunition
Firing at dwelling houses, buildings or vehicles This offence is targeted at criminal gangs who are commonly committing drive-by shootings New offence n/a Maximum penalty – 14 years imprisonment If committed during a public disorder: Maximum penalty – 16 years imprisonment
Possession of digital blueprint and device for manufacture of firearms A person must not possess a digital blueprint and device (e.g. 3D printer) for the manufacture of a firearm on a 3D printer or on electronic milling machine   Does not apply to a person authorised by armourer’s licence or acting in the ordinary course of the member’s duties of the QPS.   Defences apply if defendant did not know or could reasonably be expected to know they possessed the blueprint; or if came into possession unsolicited etc  New offence n/a Maximum penalty – 14 years imprisonment  
Discharging firearm with intent to resist arrest This offence will help to protect police officers and provide strong penalties for offenders who fire at a police officer to resist arrest New offence   Note: Similar offence exists but not as a separate offence or targeted towards firearms Maximum penalty – life imprisonment (15 years imprisonment) Maximum penalty – 25 years imprisonment
Use or possession of offensive weapon or instrument to resist arrest This offence will help to protect police officers and provide strong penalties for offenders who use offensive weapons or instruments towards a police officer to resist arrest New offence   Note: Similar offence exists but not as a separate offence or targeted towards firearms Maximum penalty – life imprisonment (15 years imprisonment) Maximum penalty – 15 years imprisonment If committed in the company of another person: maximum penalty – 18 years imprisonment
Punishment of stealing (firearm or ammunition) This will crack down on gun theft by strengthening the existing provisions Existing offence Maximum penalty – 10 years imprisonment Maximum penalty – 14 years imprisonment
Particular conduct involving a weapon in a public place prohibited A person must not, without reasonable excuse, carry in a public place a loaded firearm or a weapon capable of being discharged Existing offence Maximum penalty – 120 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment Maximum penalty – 10 years imprisonment
Particular conduct involving a weapon in a public place prohibited A person must not, without reasonable excuse, discharge a weapon in, into, towards, over or through a public place Existing offence Maximum penalty – 200 penalty units or 4 years imprisonment Maximum penalty – 10 years imprisonment
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