New laws put gun owners 'at risk'

THIEVES could easily target gun owners who now have to register their details each time they buy ammunition under tougher legislation passed this week, a Hunter MP claims.

Member for Cessnock Clayton Barr said the O’Farrell government had put people at risk for the ‘‘stunt’’, after legislation was passed this week involving tougher controls on buying ammunition.

The controversial legislation, which had been quickly introduced following a spate of drive-by shootings in Sydney, means gun dealers will have to record the particulars of every person who buys ammunition.

It includes the names, addresses and licence details of every buyer, and people will only be able to buy ammunition for guns for which they have licences, unless they have the written permission from the owner.

‘‘In the Hunter, 7300 families will be at risk because their names, addresses and firearms details will be kept in dozens of stores across the Hunter that have varying levels of security and dealer integrity,’’ Mr Barr said.

‘‘... the bill is a bureaucratic and security bungle that will affect thousands of everyday people for years to come.’’

Mr Barr also questioned the amount of increased work for gun dealers.

The bill, passed through Parliament on Tuesday night, followed a day of tense discussions among Liberal MPs, their National Party counterparts of members of the Shooters and Fishers Party.

Premier Barry O’Farrell boasted the new laws were ‘‘more bad news for bikies’’ following months of gun crime across parts of Sydney.

A spokesman for Police Minister Mike Gallacher said he noted that Mr Barr had supported the bill when it passed through Parliament.

“The legislation absolutely does not put the security of buyers at risk,’’ the spokesman said.

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