Canberra: The Coalition Government in Australia is committed to tougher penalties for gun-related crime which includes the introduction of mandatory minimum sentences of five years’ imprisonment for offenders charged with trafficking firearms or firearm parts.
Close on the heels of the Martin Place Siege, this past weekend, the Coalition Government in Australia re-introduced tougher penalties for gun-related crime to the House of Representatives leaving a clear message that it considers firearms trafficking as a deadly crime and treats even a small number of illegal firearms coming into Australia as a huge threat to the safety of the people.
When the Coalition put those penalties to the Senate last month the Labor Party opposed them.
The Labor Party voted down tough laws to remove dangerous criminals with illegal firearms from streets in Australia.
Illegal firearms coming into Australia causes great concern for all Australians and mandatory minimum sentences of five years’ imprisonment is a key part of the Australian Government’s commitment to pursue a strong and nationally consistent approach to gun crime.
Member for Batman told the Parliament: “…it is laid out in the Australian Labor Party’s national platform that it is the strongly-held view of my party that mandatory minimum sentencing is often discriminatory in practice …. So we oppose mandatory sentencing.”
However he is contradicted by the ALP’s own 2010 election policy document – “A secure and fair Australia”, which says: “In May 2010, Federal Labor introduced tough new people smuggling offences. They included penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment and mandatory minimum terms of up to eight years.”
The Coalition Government is getting on with delivering what it promised the Australian people – a safer and more secure nation.
The australian Government closed a loophole that allowed criminals to avoid prosecution for trafficking firearm parts into Australia. Without these amendments, criminals could evade trafficking offences and penalties simply by breaking down the firearms and then trafficking the parts separately.
It is this Government’s strongly held view that now, more than ever, everything must be done to ensure the safety of all Australians – critical to this is stopping the trade of illicit firearms.
Mandatory minimum sentences send a strong message that gun-related crime and violence will not be tolerated.
These measures also reflect the Australian Government’s commitment to act quickly to implement the firearms-related recommendations from the joint Commonwealth‑NSW Review into the Martin Place Siege. The Australian Government is working with the States and Territories to implement a range of key firearms-related recommendations from the Review, including further strategies to tackle illegal firearms.
The Australian Government is also updating the technical elements of the National Firearms Agreement to simplify the regulation of the legal firearms market. The Government will also introduce a National Firearms Interface to improve the ability of law enforcement to track firearms across the country.
We are committed to tough action on gun crime, and we will continue to pursue our legislative agenda to keep our communities safe.