Police have seized 17 illegal firearms over the past 2 weeks as part of an ongoing targeted police operation in Northern District.
Detective Inspector Craig Fox said that the taskforce involved members of Launceston CIB specifically concentrating on firearm crime had conducted a number of searches of premises in the Launceston area, which resulted in the seizure of a number of illegal firearms and drugs including:
- Firearms including a glock replica pistol and shotguns
- Two tasers
- Drugs and drug paraphernalia
As a result:
- A 22 year old Invermay man was charged with wounding, aggravated assault, firearm offences, attempted motor vehicle stealing and drug offences. He was bailed by the court to re-appear on 24 June .
- A 24 year old Ravenswood and a 20 year old Newnham man have been charged with a range of firearm and drug offences. They appeared in the Launceston Magistrates Court and were bailed to reappear on 2 June.
- A 35 year old Invermay man was charged with numerous firearms offices, dealing in the proceeds of crime, possessing a controlled drug and carrying a firearm with intent to commit a crime. He appeared in the Launceston Magistrates Court and was remanded to re-appear via video link on 24 May.
- A 38 year old Rochelea man was charged with breach of bail and possessing a dangerous article in public. He appeared in the Launceston Magistrates Court and was bailed to re-appear on 20 May.
- A 32 year old Exeter man was charged with possessing a shortened firearm, failing to report a theft of a firearm and failing to comply with storage requirements of a firearm. He was bailed to appear in the Launceston Magistrates Court on 2 June.
“Our taskforce has been actively investigating intelligence relating to firearms and seeking to take as many illegal firearms off our streets, and bring the offenders before the courts, as soon as possible,” Detective Inspector Fox said.
“Any illicit firearm is a concern to Tasmania Police. Firearms in the wrong hands are dangerous and are of utmost concern to police.
“While it’s normal that crime trends fluctuate from time to time, over the past several weeks, there has been a concerning number of incidents involving firearms.
“Although the vast majority of the incidents involve people who are known to both police and one another, we are taking this extremely seriously.
“We also take every opportunity to take illegal firearms off our streets by having a permanent firearms amnesty, carrying out random firearms storage inspections and investigating diligently when firearms incidents or thefts occur.
“A major firearms amnesty drive will take place across the Northern District next week, where people can hand in any firearms (unregistered or otherwise) without fear of being prosecuted.
Detective Inspector Fox said that people with information about illegal firearms should contact police or Crime Stoppers anonymously.
“We know that there are people out there in the community who know people in possession of illegal firearms. Please come forward provide information so we can take these illegal firearms off the street permanently.
“Anyone with information about stolen firearms or illegal firearms activity is urged to contact police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000 or crimestopperstas.com.au.”
Media please note:
Detective Inspector Fox will be available for interview at the back of Launceston Police Station at 2.30pm today.
Detective Inspector Craig Fox – Phone: 131444