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Up Late with Ben Harvey: Why WA’s new gun laws won’t stop bikie shootings

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Western Australia is set to introduce tough new gun laws, but it may do little to stop weapons ending up in the hands of bikies, Ben Harvey has revealed.

Proposed sweeping changes to firearm possession in Western Australia follow in the shadow of changes in NSW and Victoria, where authorities have the power to stop and search on demand if a person is subject to a prohibition order.

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WA police are set to be supported by new legislation to keep guns out of the hands of bikies and other serious criminals after a spate of public shootings, headlined by the assassination of Rebels boss Nick Martin.

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The firearm prohibition orders have helped curb gun crime in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

WATCH THE VIDEO IN THE PLAYER ABOVE

But, on Wednesday night’s episode of Up Late, Ben Harvey reveals the Ocean’s Eleven-style gun heists that will undermine the McGowan Government’s latest anti-bikie laws.

Police Minister Paul Papalia has announced new police powers and tough penalties to crack down on bikies and organised crime.
Camera IconPolice Minister Paul Papalia has announced new police powers and tough penalties to crack down on bikies and organised crime. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

“Does anyone seriously think that bikies and their associates shoot each other with weapons they brought legally from licenced gunsmiths after they said they were going pheasant shooting?,” Harvey says.

“Bikies use guns that are stolen from other people.”

Harvey reveals there are 3.5 million guns in circulation in Australia, and “the cops reckon there are an extra 260,000 that are un-registered.”

“The legal and illegal ones (guns) get pinched very regularly… there are dozens of these types of thefts every year,” he says.

Harvey points to a “serious organised theft” in Beckenham in 2019.

“130 guns on the street after one raid on a gun shop in Beckenham… these guys went full Hollywood,” Harvey says.

“They crashed into the owner’s car as he drove home, kidnapped him and forced him to open his shop.”

He also references a gun heist in Yangebup.

“A store in Yangebup was target by some Ocean’s Eleven wannabees… they cut holes in the concrete wall and got into the vault behind it.

“100 guns disappear… where do you think they will end up?”

For more spicy episodes of Up Late with Ben Harvey visit The West Australian.

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