tasmanian news 7ad 7bu pageheader

Coronavirus 628x90

Dozens charged in crackdown on gun crime

Handgun Pixabay

Police in northern Tasmania say a crackdown on illegal firearms, which was launched in the wake of a surge in gun crime in Launceston, has been a success.

35 illegal firearms have been seized, along with a large quantity of ammunition and drugs since the firearms task force was created two months ago.

Detective Inspector Craig Fox from Tasmania Police says the operation is ongoing, to get as many guns off the street as possible.

"We targeted known offenders, we've asked for the assistance of the general public, and as a result of that we did multiple searches and will continue to do multiple searches targeting guns," Detective Inspector Fox said.

"It's been a success, we're going to keep it going, and we're still asking for the public to give us that information." 

Among the illegal firearms seized were rifles, pistols, tasers, and imitation firearms, with 42 people charged.

Police admit gun crime has been on the rise this year, but maintain there is no threat to the general public.

"We do have some significant players in the drug world in the Launceston area, unfortunately guns seem to be a commodity they use," Detective Inspector Fox said.

"I don't think there's any danger to the public, or even police to be honest... I think it's more amongst themselves, living in a world where drugs and violence is common."

"There will always be crime unfortunately, it's just the world we live in, but if we can put in measures that reduce it and make people feel safer, and take away 40 or 50 firearms out of the hands of criminals, that's what we're after."

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.