Friday, April 19, 2024

WA takes aim at gun possession

The Western Australian Police Force has issued its first round of Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs) against 20 organised crime figures and domestic violence offenders.  

Served on November 21 by the WA Police Gang Crime Squad, the WA Government’s FPOs close loopholes allowing criminals to legally access firearms. 

Individuals served with an FPO can no longer possess a firearm or be in the presence of a firearm. This includes visiting an address where a firearm is present.  

An individual served with an FPO, and anyone in their presence, can be searched at any time without a warrant. 

The maximum penalty for breaching an FPO is 14 years prison and a $75,000 fine. 

During the first round of FPOs issued, police seized 12 firearms, with a further five firearms surrendered. 

Police Minister, Paul Papalia said some of the state’s most dangerous organised crime figures have been disarmed, making the streets safer for the community. 

“We have disarmed some of the very worst domestic violence offenders in our State, reducing the unacceptable threat these offenders pose in the home,” Mr Papalia said. 

“We know people associated with outlaw bikie gangs have been exploiting the law to legally access guns. We know that statistically, access to a firearm is one of the most significant factors driving fatal, domestic violence attacks. 

“For career criminals, these FPOs are career killers, and they are contagious. If you do business with these people, if you socialise with these people, you are just as likely to catch it and cop it. 

“Criminals want to legally own guns, so they can legally access ammunition, which they then fire from illegal guns. Under the new FPOs we can now lock them up for being at the same address as a single, unloaded bullet,” he said.

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