Call for urgent firearm reform

GUN control advocates are calling for urgent firearm reform after the use of semi-automatic weapons on the streets of Launceston.

Launceston has endured a spate of firearm incidents in the past month and in some cases seen semi-automatics been used to shoot up a car and allegedly commit armed robbery.

The latest incident occurred on Thursday when police swooped on a Ravenswood home after a man allegedly threatened family members with a shortened .410 shotgun. 

The man was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault by depriving two family members of their liberty and threatening to shoot them. 

Just days earlier police allege the same man used the shotgun to threaten two women, including a former partner, at Deloraine. 

In an unrelated matter a drive-by shooting at Norwood saw bullets fired into a vehicle. 

The shooting occurred on Anzac Day with residents saying they heard what sounded like a semi-automatic weapon just after midnight. 

The following day the victim found his work vehicle had been fired into five times.

One neighbour said residents were terrified over the incident that occurred in a suburban setting where several young families live.

 ``We've got a lot of kids in this street and some pretty concerned people,'' the man said.

``This is Launceston not western Sydney.''

Another resident took to  The Examiner's  website to post ``Lived in this street for 7 years, cannot believe it!''

Launceston detectives are investigating the incident and believe it is linked to a domestic scenario. 

The family of the victim said they believe it was meant as a warning.

In a separate incident two people have been charged over an alleged armed robbery at Invermay with a semi-automatic handgun.

The alleged robbery was of a TV on April 8. 

During the incident the gun was allegedly pointed at a victim's head.

Gun Control Australia spokesman Roland Browne said the use of semi-automatic weapons on the streets was a worrying development. 

``These incidents reinforce the need for reform, we need to ban semi-automatic handguns so they don't get into the hands of criminals,'' he said. 

``It's about having a high level of community safety but also we need to tighten the laws up to protect our police . . . we don't want people settling their squabbles with their guns either.

``We should act now before we end up with one of these guns being used for the purpose of which it was designed - which is to kill people.''

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