The state government will also introduce new laws requiring accused family and domestic violence offenders to have their guns taken from them by police as a mandatory measure.

Midland police district tops registered firearm ownership

Police minister Paul Papalia says public safety was top priority as new WA firearm laws were drafted.
June 6, 2024
Peter W Lewis

FIGURES released last week from Police Minister’s Paul Papalia’s office reveal the Midland police district, covering an area from Ellenbrook, Mundaring and Forrestfield, has the most registered firearms in the state at 30,556.

This compares to the Perth police district, covering the CBD and western suburbs, with a total of 5752 firearms, with high totals also in the surrounding areas of  Mandurah 26,150, Joondalup 24,739 Armadale 21,357 and Mirrabooka 14,914.

Surprisingly, the regional total of 175,409 registered firearms was only marginally higher than the metropolitan total of 151,404 firearms, not including those belonging to a licensed to dealer/distributor, for a total of 326,813 in the state, owned by 89,530 licence holders.

These figures do not include the 12,000 firearms returned as part of the recent $64.3 million buyback scheme and include firearm, collector and ammunition collector licence types only

Mr Papalia said since 2009, the number of guns in WA had increased by 65 per cent.

“Public safety is paramount, and that has been the key consideration when drafting the state’s new firearms laws.

“If there are fewer firearms in the community, there are fewer opportunities for them to be used illegally,” Mr Papalia said.

He said legislation currently being debated in the Upper House will introduce a limit on the number of firearms a person can own, toughen storage requirements and impose mandatory training and health checks for all gun owners.

“Firearm limits alone will remove over 10,000 firearms from the community,” Mr Papalia said.

“In addition to the proposed legislative changes, we have already stripped notorious crime figures and serious domestic violence offenders of their firearms and removed 280 unnecessarily high-powered guns from the community.

“This historic reform will make WA a safer place and will benefit future generations for decades to come,” he said.

He strongly encouraged all firearm owners to consider participating in the buyback before it closes, or the fund is exhausted.

“This is your one opportunity to get paid for your firearm by the government before the new laws come into effect.”

The released data shows WA Police licensing services revoked 215 firearms licences because of family and domestic violence or violence restraining orders between October 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024.

In April, there were 13 active cases of licence holders subject to restraining orders who had their guns handed back after an appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal.

Under the Firearms Act, licence holders subjected to violence restraining orders are not considered “fit and proper persons” to continue owning guns.

The state government will also introduce new laws requiring accused family and domestic violence offenders to have their guns taken from them by police as a mandatory measure.

Guns will be confiscated until the claims of violence are investigated and resolved.

The move follows from the recent murders of Floreat mother Jennifer Petelczyc and her daughter Gretl.

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