New gun laws won't affect criminals

CHANGING the state's firearms laws to make it harder for gun owners to access ammunition will be detrimental to recreational shooters, not outlaw criminals, says Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser.

Speaking in parliament against the coalition's bill, which at the time of going to press was still being debated, Mr Fraser said while it was important to protect the community against increasing gang violence, criminals would pay no attention to the new rules.

He said he had grown up "in the bush", considered himself to be a "safe user of firearms" and was "saddened" by the bill.

"Criminals will take not note of this legislation; they have not taken note of other legislation," Mr Fraser said

"The only people who will be inconvenienced by it are retailers and firearms owners, be they farmers or sporting shooters."

If passed, the bill would prevent the sale of ammunition by a licensed firearms dealer to a shooter unless the buyer is the registered owner or has a permit and firearm dealers would be required to keep a record of all purchases and sales on ammunition.

Mr Fraser said it was important for the State government to support police in their fight against organised crime but stressed this particular bill was "window dressing at its worst".

"Give the police the powers of entry - give the police the authority to go in and act how they need to act to keep us safe," he said.

"We have an obligation to ensure that the police are given every piece of legislation they need to stop the drive-by shootings and other shootings.

"But I do not believe this legislation will take one stray gun off the street or will take one bullet out of the hands of the criminals who wish to use them illegally.

"I am saddened by this legislation."

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