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BIKER NEWS: Sweeping changes to SA gun laws to ban gang members from owning firearms

BN- EVERY former and current bikie gang member in South Australia and criminals convicted of a range of offences will be banned from owni...



BN- EVERY former and current bikie gang member in South Australia and criminals convicted of a range of offences will be banned from owning guns under new legislation that declares firearm ownership to be “a privilege, not a right”.


The rewrite of the Firearms Act, which declares firearm ownership to be “a privilege, not a right”, will also significantly tighten the storage requirements for gun owners and, for the first time, expiation notices will be issued for minor breaches.

It will also create a range of new offences and increase the penalties for some existing ones. The intention is to improve community safety and prevent gun-related crime.

Police Minister Tony Piccolo said the new Act had been drafted following a year of extensive consultation with stakeholders including farming groups, sporting shooters, victims of gun crime, former members of the judiciary, police and the Australian Crime Commission.

He said the underlying principle of the new Act was that gun ownership was “a privilege and not a right and ensuring public safety was the overriding priority’’.

Under the new Act, the issuing of Firearms Prohibition Notices will be significantly expanded to automatically include all former and current bikie gang members or any person subject to a control order under the Serious and Organised (Control) Act.

At present, any gang member can legally own a registered firearm, unless they are subject to a prohibition notice.

“We do not think being a member of a bikie gang and being a gun owner is a good mix,’’ Mr Piccolo said.

And under the fit and proper persons test, any person convicted from July 1 of a drug offence or an offence involving violence will also be banned from owning a gun for a period of five years.

“The link between drug crime and firearms is clear,’’ Mr Piccolo said. “If you are convicted of a drug-related offence and a number of other violence-related offences you will be unable to own a gun.’’

Under the new Act, every licence holder will have to show a genuine reason for owning a firearm under 12 “authorised purpose’’ categories. Self-protection is not sufficient justification for gun ownership.

“It will ensure that only people who use firearms for lawful purposes will have guns,’’ Mr Piccolo said.


“We have tried to ensure the new laws are both practical and easier for legitimate gun owners to comply with but, at the same time, minimise the risk to the community.

“The Act states that gun ownership is a privilege and not a right.

“We are not America, you do not have a right to a gun to protect yourself. If you want a gun to protect yourself, that is an admission of the breakdown of civil society.’’

Police figures reveal there are 294,446 firearms registered in SA and 65,497 registered gun owners.

One of the most significant changes is to provisions surrounding the storage of guns.

A new code of conduct will be introduced to ensure storage and security requirements increase, depending on the number of weapons owned by an individual.

“For example, if you have one gun, the risk is minimal, but if you have 20 or 30, there is a greater risk should someone break in,’’ Mr Piccolo said. “Gun owners will be required to have a greater level of security on a risk-based scale.’’

A comprehensive code of conduct — to be formulated in conjunction with shooting groups — will be introduced by regulation after the legislation is proclaimed on July 1 next year, if it passes both Houses of Parliament.

Expiation notices of between $210 and $315 will also be introduced for minor breaches of the code of conduct, such as failing to secure very small amounts of ammunition.

“Previously, a very minor breach such as that would have ended in court. This is a commonsense way of dealing with very minor breaches because we understand that sometimes people make inadvertent errors,’’ Mr Piccolo said.

The laws will also be relaxed where farmers are concerned to allow a person other than the licence holder to have access to a firearm — for example, when a farmer’s partner needs to access the stored weapon if requested by the farmer.

The new Act will also allow for the introduction of a permanent gun amnesty under which those who own a weapon that is either not licensed or no longer wanted can surrender it without penalty.

More: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sweeping-changes-to-sa-gun-laws-to-ban-gang-members-from-owning-firearms/story-fnii5yv6-1227539444869

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Outlaws Bikers News : BIKER NEWS: Sweeping changes to SA gun laws to ban gang members from owning firearms
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