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Abbott’s mandatory sentencing plan won’t fix gun crime

Media Release
Penny Wright 4 Jul 2014

New gun trafficking laws to be announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott today will do little to improve community safety, says Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright.

“The Prime Minister’s got the wrong end of the stick. Most illegal guns are not trafficked into Australia, they are stolen from registered owners,” Senator Wright said. “That’s really where the focus needs to be.”

“Mandatory sentencing does not reduce crime – it only locks people up once the damage has been done.”

Senator Wright said more needed to be done to get guns off Australian streets and urged the Prime Minister to wait for the report of her Senate Inquiry into illegal weapons.

“My Senate Inquiry is looking at the big picture. We want to know how these weapons are being stolen, traded and used. We’ll look at who’s behind the guns black market, how it is operating, and what we can do about it.

“The Australian Greens know tougher sentencing will not work on its own – tackling gun crime requires a much more sophisticated approach.

“If the Coalition Government is serious about improving community safety, they would do well to wait until my Senate Inquiry has completed its investigations.”

Read more about the Australian Greens inquiry into illegal guns here.

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