September 15, 2013
The Sydney Morning Herald
NSW Police will be able to stop and search people, cars, bikie clubhouses and “criminal dens” for guns, without a warrant, under legislation to be introduced into parliament this week.
Under the changes, police would be able to stop and search anyone who had been banned from owning guns without a warrant, even if there was no cause for suspicion, Premier Barry O’Farrell said. “The changes mean officers can also search their cars and their premises for firearms.”
Fewer than 70 people in NSW are subject to a firearm ban but the new laws would make it easier to increase the number, Mr O’Farrell said. Penalties will rise from 10 to 14 years for possession or supply of illegal weapons.
Police Minister Michael Gallacher said the laws would enable police to target known people. “It will give police the ability to target people they know are involved.
“Currently police need reasonable cause to suspect,” he said. “The existence of the banning order will be in itself the ability that police will need to pull them over, search their cars … simply walk in the door.”
It comes after the government last week rejected an uncannily similar proposal by Labor. But Mr O’Farrell said Labor’s bill wouldn’t work because it concentrated power in the hands of the police commissioner.