New gun laws in effect

LICENSED firearm owners will have to comply with higher security standards, under new laws which came into effect on the weekend.

The new legislation became operational in South Australia on Saturday, July 1 – the same day as the start of a new National Firearms Amnesty and continuation of South Australia’s General Firearms Amnesty, which encourage the hand-over of unwanted, illegal or unsafe firearms without penalty.

The new laws mean minimum standards for security, storage and transport of firearms and ammunition have been boosted, while it will, now, become mandatory to report unsafe situations where firearms are kept, including where mental health issues are known.

Additionally, Firearms Prohibition Orders can be issued against any member or former member of a criminal organisation, and people found guilty of serious offences will face periods of automatic licence disqualification.

A police spokesperson said the new laws were developed after several years of industry consultation.

“The new state firearms legislation will enhance public safety by specifically targeting criminals, and reinforcing obligations on licensed firearms owners, by introducing higher standards of security for the privilege of owning firearms,” the spokesperson said.

A 12-month transition period will assist those existing firearms licensees who need to upgrade their security arrangements.

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Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.

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