The Australian Greens have urged the Labor Party to remain strong in opposing mandatory minimum sentences for gun trafficking, saying the Abbott Government's legislation would not make Australians safer.
Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson and chair of a current Senate inquiry into illicit firearms Senator Penny Wright said there was no evidence mandatory minimum sentences were effective and tackling gun crime required a more sophisticated approach.
"Tougher sentencing for trafficking is not the way to address gun crime in Australia," Senator Wright said. "Mandatory minimum sentences will not make us safer."
"While more certainly needs to be done to stop illegal imports, many illicit firearms are actually stolen from legitimate sources or taken from the 'grey market', including the gun used in the Sydney Siege.
"Tackling gun crime requires a multi-faceted approach, not national security scaremongering.
"I would urge the Abbott Government to wait for the Senate inquiry into illicit firearms to conclude hand down its recommendations later this month."