- 20 organised crime figures and serious domestic violence offenders targeted
- Individuals can no longer exploit loophole to legally access firearms
- Maximum penalty for breaching an FPO 14 years prison and $75,000
The State's worst organised crime figures and domestic violence offenders have been disarmed in the first round of Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs) issued by the Western Australian Police Force.
In a major turning point for law and order in Western Australia, the McGowan Government's tough new FPOs have closed the loopholes allowing criminals to legally access firearms.
On November 21, the Western Australian Police Force's Gang Crime Squad served the first 15 FPOs in Western Australia.
A further five FPOs were served beyond State borders.
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 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 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.
A further five firearms were surrendered.
Comments attributed to Police Minister Paul Papalia:
"We have disarmed some of the most dangerous organised crime figures in WA, making the streets safer for our 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.
"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.
"The 20 individuals who have been slapped with a FPO can no longer be in the presence of a firearm. They cannot visit an address where there is a firearm. They and anyone in their company can be searched 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without a warrant.
"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.
"The McGowan Government will continue to keep giving our Western Australian Police Force the laws and the tools they require to make our State as inhospitable as possible to the organised crime gangs that are peddling meth and misery in our community. We are committed to doing everything in our power to stop domestic violence."
Comments attributed to WA Police Assistant Commissioner Tony Longhorn:
"Firearm Prohibition Orders are another tool in the toolbox to reduce the threat of gun-related crime in our community by making it harder for certain people to access these weapons.
"State Crime officers have issued the first wave of FPOs and I anticipate further orders will be issued over coming months."
Minister's office - 6552 5600