Greens spokesperson for gun control Senator Lee Rhiannon has commented on the announcement of a new gun amnesty, saying the Greens support the amnesty in principle but do not support the introduction of mandatory minimum sentences.
“The Greens support a gun amnesty and want our gun laws strengthened, but we do not support mandatory minimum sentences under any circumstances.
“Last year the Coalition attempted to introduce mandatory minimums for firearms trafficking offences for the third time, under the Criminal Code Amendment (Firearms Trafficking) Bill 2015. And for the third time they were not able to justify the need for mandatory minimum provisions.
“There is no evidence that mandatory minimum sentences act as deterrents for firearms trafficking, but there is evidence that they may have adverse consequences, particularly for vulnerable and marginalised communities.
“What the 1996 reforms missed out on is a ban on semi-automatic pistols.
“We need to update the National Firearms Agreement so that all semi-auto handguns and dangerous rapid fire guns like the Adler shotgun are banned. We are awaiting the release of the review into the National Firearms Agreement.
“The Coalition has allowed for the importation and sale of the Adler A110 5 shot lever-action shotgun, and so far over 7000 have been imported into Australia.
“The Coalition could make a substantial difference to gun law reform by banning the importation and sale of rapid fire shot guns.