Victoria Police will be armed with strong new powers to target and search individuals from outlaw motorcycle gangs and serious criminal organisations – including those who associate with organised crime figures.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville today introduced legislation to create new Firearms Prohibition Orders, giving police new powers to prevent people who may pose a threat to public safety from accessing firearms.
Firearm Prohibition Orders can be issued by the Chief Commissioner or other senior police, and are aimed at people who may pose a danger to the community but can’t be banned from accessing firearms under existing laws due to a clean criminal record.
Police will be able to use new warrantless search powers to search anyone subject to a Firearm Prohibition Order, as well as their premises or vehicle.
Anyone in the company of a Firearm Prohibition Order subject can also be searched, if police reasonably suspect they are in possession of a firearm, ammunition or related items.
The Firearms Amendment Bill 2017, introduced today, also creates a new drive-by shooting offence, with up to 15 years for shooting at a premises or vehicle with reckless disregard for someone’s safety.
If a drive-by shooting happens while someone is carrying out a serious indictable offence, the penalty has been increased to up to 20 years.
The Andrews Labor Government’s tough new suite of measures cracks down on organised crime and the illicit firearms trade, which fuels the drug trade and underpins significant crime across the state.
Breaching a Firearm Prohibition Order by acquiring, possessing, carrying or using a firearm, ammunition or related items will carry a maximum prison term of 10 years. A FPO subject will also be banned from visiting firearms business premises, clubs and ranges, with a breach carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of one year.
The legislation also makes amendments to improve the operation of recreational firearm licensing and regulation in Victoria, to streamline the process for those who use firearms legally.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“The introduction of Firearm Prohibition Orders will revolutionise how we tackle organised crime and the possession and movement of illegal guns within our state.”
“Let this be a warning to organised crime figures and those that associate with organised crime figures – we are coming for you.”
“As promised, we are giving Victoria Police the powers and resources it needs to keep Victorians safe and crack down on organised crime.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020