Shooting at a police officer will soon carry a maximum penalty of 25 years jail, under reforms passed in South Australian parliament yesterday.
The Serious Firearm Offenders Bill received the wide-ranging support of Labor, Liberal and independent MPs in the lower house.
A spokeswoman for Police Minister Jennifer Rankin said regulations were still being drafted but were expected to become law later in the year.
In a statement, Attorney-General John Rau said highlights of the Bill included:
- The creation of a new offence of shooting at a police officer, carrying a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail;
- Higher penalties for drive-by shootings, even if a property is vacant;
- The creation of a new category of offender, to be known as a 'serious firearms offender', who will face a presumption of immediate jail and;
- A ban on offenders released on bail, parole or a suspended sentence from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
"Many firearms offences are carried out by criminal gangs ... these new laws will give police another tool," said Mr Rau.
Police have so far collected more than 1200 firearms since August during its gun amnesty.