Premier
The Honourable Campbell Newman
30/04/2012

New Minimum Penalties for Gun Crime

The Newman Government will crack down on people who use firearms illegally, announcing plans to prepare new legislation for tougher penalties and minimum mandatory sentences as part of its plan to reduce crime.

Premier Campbell Newman said the amendments, which Cabinet has resolved in principle to implement subject to more detailed consideration and consultation, will give Queensland the toughest gun laws in Australia.

“These changes will send the clearest message to the community that the trafficking, supply, unlawful possession and use of illegal firearms will not be tolerated,” Mr Newman said.

“We will do what’s necessary to protect innocent Queenslanders and reduce crime.”

Police Minister, Jack Dempsey and Attorney-General, Jarrod Bleijie will prepare new legislation covering penalties for illegal firearm offences.

The proposed amendments include:

  • An offender convicted of trafficking illegal firearms will serve a mandatory minimum term of five years in custody.
  • An offender convicted of supplying illegal firearms will serve a mandatory minimum term of three years in custody.
  • An offender convicted of possessing an illegal firearm that is used in the commission of an indictable offence will serve a mandatory minimum term of 18 months in custody.
  • An offender who unlawfully possesses an illegal firearm for the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of an indictable offence will serve a mandatory minimum term of one year in custody.
  • An offender convicted of possessing an illegal firearm in a public place will serve a mandatory minimum term of one year in custody.

The legislation will also make provisions for a voluntary hand back scheme and registration amnesty. Cabinet has resolved that it will not support any erosion of the rights of law abiding firearm owners.

Mr Newman said the LNP Government made no apologies for using every single possible mechanism to deal with these criminal activities, including looking at enforcing Labor’s two and a half year old anti-association laws which have never been used.

“We will not allow criminal elements to flout the law. Recent violence has only strengthened our resolve. I cannot be any clearer,” Mr Newman said.

“However, criminals and criminal gangs who should be on notice that the LNP Government takes law enforcement seriously and will do what’s necessary to protect the community.