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  • Rikki Lambert

Firearms in the firing line with knives, other weapons for upgraded penalties

The New South Wales government has commissioned an independent review of the state's weapon laws, with the clear implication penalties for non-compliance could increase.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman tasked the Sentencing Advisory Council for the first time to review laws that he said were in some cases long overdue:

"A limited review of firearms offences was last undertaken by the Council in 2004, and some knife offences have never been reviewed.

The Council will be required to consider whether the range of penalties for non-compliance with firearm, knife and other weapon laws 'remain appropriate' and, for instance, whether to upgrade summary offences (or fines) to indictable offences imposing a term of potential imprisonment.

On Friday, the NSW Law Reform Commission recommended against adding further firearms offences as triggers for the 'show cause' bail arrangements brought in during 2015. The 'Hatzigeros' reforms reversed the onus of proof, requiring the accused - not Crown prosecutors - to prove why they should not be detained.

For the full terms of reference for the Sentencing Advisory Council review, click here.


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