Footage shows reality of gun crisis

The WA Government's buyback scheme has seen more than 8000 Western Australians hand in 14,000 guns to police including more than 1300 handguns, 3000 shotguns and 9000 rifles.
The WA Government's buyback scheme has seen more than 8000 Western Australians hand in 14,000 guns to police including more than 1300 handguns, 3000 shotguns and 9000 rifles.

Shocking footage shows the reality of one state’s gun issues, as violent criminals are set to be stripped of their firearms under the strictest gun laws in the country.

Amendments to WA’s Firearms Act will see the introduction of mandatory disqualifying offences and orders, which will give police power to remove guns from serious offenders, such as family and domestic violence perpetrators.

The gun law reforms will also restrict the number of guns a person can own depending on their licence type and make it harder to obtain or renew a gun licence.

The WA Government's buyback scheme has seen more than 8000 Western Australians hand in 14,000 guns to police including more than 1300 handguns, 3000 shotguns and 9000 rifles.
The WA Government's buyback scheme has seen more than 8000 Western Australians hand in 14,000 guns to police including more than 1300 handguns, 3000 shotguns and 9000 rifles.

A buyback scheme that was introduced by the government ahead of the reforms passing parliament offered gun owners up to $1000 to hand in their weapons.

The scheme has seen more than 8,000 Western Australians hand in around 14,000 guns to police including more than 1300 handguns, 3000 shotguns and 9000 rifles.

The changes will make it harder for people to obtain guns.

Under the changes, anyone who applies for a gun licence must complete mandatory firearms training and gun owners will be required to undergo regular health checks and comply with new storage requirements.

COVID PRESSER
Police Commission Col Blanche said police now had the ability to make decision on who owns guns in the community, and gave them power to take guns of the hand of people how have proven themselves not worthy. NewsWire / Tony McDonough

Police Commissioner Col Blanch said police now had the ability to make decision on who owns guns in the community, and gave them power to take guns of the hand of people who have proven themselves not worthy.

“We will take immediate action as a result of these new laws, police can make decisions earlier to remove guns particularly from those who are suspected of committing family violence offences in the community.

“I think our community will welcome these changes so we can make our community a safer place to live.”

Police minister Paul Papalia said it was the first time public safety was the primary consideration above all factors including the privilege of owning a gun. Picture: NewsWire /Philip Gostelow
Police minister Paul Papalia said it was the first time public safety was the primary consideration above all factors including the privilege of owning a gun. Picture: NewsWire /Philip Gostelow

Police minister Paul Papalia said when the gun laws were being passed through parliament on Wednesday there were two terrifying incidents that took place on the east coast involving guns.

“Sadly, we don’t need to look interstate to see the devastating impact guns can have,” he said.

“From the Osmington mass murders in 2018, to Nick Martin’s public assassination in 2020 to last year’s Two Rocks school shooting, the Kellerberrin murder suicide as well as the horrific deaths in Floreat this year.

“Multiple gun incidents in recent years have reinforced the need for reform.”

The minister said for the first time public safety was the primary consideration above all factors including the privilege of owning a gun.

Authorities are encouraging gun owners in WA to take advantage of the buyback scheme before it ends in August.
Authorities are encouraging gun owners in WA to take advantage of the buyback scheme before it ends in August.

“Our new laws make WA safer for all Western Australians and will benefit future generations for decades to come,” he said.

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Sabine Winton said the new laws would help keep women, children and the community safe.

“Let’s be clear, owning a gun is a privilege. Being safe in your own home is everyone’s right,” she said.

“For men who don’t get it, the message is clear, violence is unacceptable and your guns will be taken away if you threaten women in our community.”