Gun thefts: Are the penalties adequate?

gun theft


The Federal Government has deliberately blurred any rational distinction between the legal and illegal market. It’s looking for some quick wins – at your expense.

The Federal Government was looking at reviewing parts of the National Firearms Agreement in the wake of the 2014 Martin Place siege well before the issue of lever action longarms came up in recent months. 

It was also looking at the spate of what appear to be underworld related shootings around Melbourne, again before the Adler matter surfaced.

Instead the government decided to roll these into one issue, with Justice Minister, Michael Keenan, moving to suspend the imports of the Adler A-110 because of some vague and unclear terrorism concern.

From our perspective, there are three discussions to be had here, not one.

The first is access to firearms by terrorists.  The second is access to firearms by criminals. The third one is access to firearms by licensed gun owners.  They are quite distinct and separate.

The majority of firearms held by terrorists and criminals do not, contrary to the view of others, come from the legal market. We recently posted this article on just how easy it is to smuggle firearms into Australia.

However where there are guns stolen from the legal market – including from the police and military – it seems there is a gap in the criminal penalties that apply to stealing those firearms.

Currently there are provisions in the Crimes Act 1958 that add five years to a sentence when a person is using a firearm in the commissioning of a criminal offence – but what about the person who supplied the gun?

We’d like to suggest that instead of targeting the licensed gun owner, target the thief who took their gun.

We suggest the imposition of a fixed fine of $250,000 and / or minimum of 2 years for the first time offence of intentionally stealing a firearm, and $500,000 and / or 5 years for a second time offence.

At the very least it should make those thinking about stealing a firearm think carefully before doing so.  Similar changes could be considered for smuggling firearms into Australia.

  1. Logic fails me as I try to understand why those in political leadership seem to demonise the lawful ownership of firearms for criminal activities involving the use of firearms……yet the offenders or criminals involved in unlawful firearm pursuits never use legally acquired firearms. I was in law enforcement (police officer for 20years BSAP, Rhodesia and NT Police)and the owner of my own security company (Robur Security Services)for 7years and have always had an interest in firearms. I am a member of several shooting clubs, organisations and online shooting forums yet my opinion and the opinions of thousands of similar law abiding citizens are never consulted or taken into consideration when making knee jerk reactions or decisions similar to the one from our PM. A fair dinkum approach to the situation we are in at the moment with rising gun related firearm offences, threat of Islamic terrorism (or dear, did I have the audacity to actually identify a criminal organisation?)is to let the police do their job and enforce current legislation which is more than adequate at this time – without political interference. The same goes for Customs, I worked on the Brisbane waterfront for 7 years as a wharfie (leaving in 2005) and import controls/inspections were at their best laughable and worst non existent. Why on earth piss off 800,000 voters, not counting their families and friends? By all means increase the penalties for illegal firearm use but leave the lawful firearm owner alone – struth we go through enough hurdles in pursuit of a lawful sport/occupation as it is.

  2. Michael

    Thanks for this. Very good feedback including your experience on the waterfront. I’m on the same page as an ex Customs officer!


  3. Richard Carter

    I belive politicians side with a majority to stay in the vote of the majority, it has little to do with common sense. If the politicians can make the population feel they are being protected from harm the majority will look to them as their savior. The Adler ban is a mere distraction from important political issues. In 2 months time we will see other laws, regulations and policies, unrelated to this issue, have been introduced and we’ll be saying “didn’t see that coming”. Remember I shoot, I vote.

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