Australian Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright says tighter gun laws, not mandatory sentencing for firearm offences, are needed to keep Australians safe.
Senator Wright will today move an amendment in the Senate to remove a five year mandatory sentence for firearm trafficking.
Senator Wright said that mandatory sentencing is unfair, ineffective and undermines longstanding legal principles, pointing out that "if the Government were really serious about cracking down on firearms they would not be cutting deals with crossbenchers to let firearms in."
"This is just another example of this Government favouring cheap populism over evidence-based policies that will actually make Australians safer," Senator Wright said.
"Incredibly, the Attorney-General's own Department has confirmed that it is not aware of any cases where the current sentences for trafficking of firearms or firearm parts have been insufficient.
"Yet, still they are pushing for mandatory sentencing that will completely undermine the court's power to impose an appropriate penalty that fits the crime - and for what gain?
"At the same time they are willing to cut dirty deals with crossbenchers to let dangerous guns legally into the country.
"By letting the Adler into Australia the Abbott Government has opened the doors to a potential tragedy like those we have seen in the past.
"This is just yet another example of a Government with no vision, floundering in the polls and looking for any way to claw back support.
"If the Abbott Government were actually serious about reducing gun crime in Australia they should look at implementing the recommendations of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References committee's inquiry into illicit firearms.
Media contact: Cambell Klose - 0417 173 508