26 September 2023

Police aim firearms at outdated laws

Start the conversation

The Western Australia Police Force is supporting the biggest overhaul of firearms laws in the State’s history, with extensive stakeholder and community consultation that may result in a complete re-write of the five-decade-old Firearms Act.

Minister for Police, Paul Papalia said while there had been several amendments to the Act over the years, there had been no structural reform since it was enacted in 1973.

“New police figures reveal Western Australians now own more than 349,000 guns — a 60 per cent jump in the number of licensed guns compared to 13 years ago,” Mr Papalia said.

“At the same time, the number of Western Australians who hold a gun licence has fallen.”

He said a new Firearms Act would modernise the current firearms licensing regime with procedural and operational improvements that had a strong focus on community safety.

“Proposed reforms include strengthened training requirements, provisions to allow police to revoke gun licences from those convicted of serious family violence offences, and enhanced requirements for security and storage of legitimately-owned firearms.”

Premier, Mark McGowan said the time had come to consider some contemporary improvements to the Act to enhance community safety.

“There are a number of genuine reasons for needing a firearm, but we must ensure we have strong laws in place to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals,” Mr McGowan said.

“We are now undertaking extensive stakeholder consultation as part of developing modern and sensible firearm controls, to enable continued legitimate use of firearms while focussing strongly on keeping the community safe,” he said.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.