TASMANIA Police is claiming a breakthrough in Launceston's armed drug feud following further arrests yesterday.
There has been a series of tit-for-tat shootings in Launceston since May that police have pinned on two warring parties involved in drugs and personal falling-outs.
One of the shootings occurred in the CBD and left an innocent bystander with a gunshot to the leg as he stood talking to other teenagers outside a computer store last month.
Detectives said that drive-by was in retaliation to a shooting in May where a man was shot in the leg at Rocherlea.
As part of Operation Agenda police have arrested three males they say were involved in both of those shootings.
All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges and plan to fight them in the Supreme Court.
Northern Tasmania Police Commander Richard Cowling said Operation Agenda was throwing considerable resources at gun crime.
``Firearm crime will not be tolerated,'' Commander Cowling said. ``The use of firearms to intimidate, retaliate or resolve disputes in private or public settings is unacceptable.''
``People involved in these disputes are known to each other and are extremely reluctant to assist police,'' Commander Cowling said.
``The community has a role in solving these crimes, and I want to acknowledge the assistance that members of the public have provided that led to these arrests.''
Launceston CIB Detective Inspector Scott Flude said the operation was ``pivotal in making a dent in the issues we've had''.
Detective Inspector Flude urged firearm owners to store their weapons securely following household break-ins that have targeted weapons.
Fifteen firearms were stolen from a home in Mornington this month and Launceston has seen several targeted burglaries including one at a gun store in Invermay Road.
``As we've taken some guns off the street some of these persons involved in gun crime have sought to obtain firearms by other means - i.e. breaking in to houses to obtain them,'' Detective Inspector Flude said.
``We've had firearms stolen 10 years ago that have surfaced just recently, so look, the firearms do move around the state.''
People who have information relating to any firearms or other crimes are asked to contact police or report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.