Stiffer jail time closer for gun convictions

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Harsher jail sentences for gun convictions without the option of paying a fine are a step closer with the passage of the Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2017 through the Senate on Monday.
The current sentencing provision under the Firearms Act provides for an option of a fine or a prison term.
According to the bill’s explanatory memorandum, the prescribed prison time under the Act was so low as to have minimal impact on offenders while the convicted offenders had no difficulty paying the fines instantly or in short time.
“In the prevailing circumstances, the government has decided to delete the imposition of a fine as an option from the sentencing provision and limit the penalty for offences committed against the Firearm Act to a prison term only,” the memorandum reads.
Clause 5 of the bill amends Section 8 of the principal Act by deleting the sentence of a fine thereby allowing only for imprisonment of two years. Section 8 addresses the carrying of firearms or ammunition in a public place by anyone not a police officer, a defence force member, or member of the U.K. armed forces, acting in the capacity of their various offices.
In Clause 6, which deals with the selling or transferring of firearms or ammunition, the two-year prison term for a summary conviction has been retained with an indictable conviction attracting prison terms ranging from 10 to 15 years, up from five years.
The new bill also proposes a 25-year indictable sentence for any person who has in his possession, or under his control, any firearm or ammunition with intent to sell or transfer such firearm to any other person for the purpose of the commission of any crime. This represents a 15-year increase on the prison time.
In Clause 8 …
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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