Gun laws in focus after firearm theft

THE Greens have called on the major parties to introduce tougher gun laws following yet another firearm theft in the state's South.

Six firearms, ammunition and some gun equipment were stolen from a home at Bothwell between Friday and Sunday afternoon.

It is the second gun theft in that area since September.

Tasmania Police did not respond to questions about how many guns have been stolen since July.

However, the Liberals said the incident showed the firearm theft "tsunami" was continuing.

It also prompted the Greens to label gun laws ineffective.

Greens police spokesman Paul O'Halloran said better gun control was needed, including a ban on minors handling firearms.

"At least the storage requirements must be strengthened as a matter of priority," Mr O'Halloran said.

The state government failed to push through tougher storage laws last year for owners of 15 or more guns.

Opposition police spokeswoman Elise Archer said gun theft would be lower under the Liberals because police numbers would be bolstered.

"News that more guns have been stolen and could now be in the hands of dangerous criminals shows that we also need to dedicate more resources to solving serious crimes," she said.

Police Minister David O'Byrne attacked both opponents as scaremongering and said people who stole guns faced 21 years' jail under amendments made by Labor last year.

"The Liberals again fail to explain how more police will equal less firearm crime, when firearm crime peaked in 2004 while police numbers were around their highest," Mr O'Byrne said.

Tasmania Police urge anyone with information in relation to the stealing of these firearms, or equipment, to contact them on 131444 or Crime Stoppers on 180033300.


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