Tough stance urged on armed criminals

AS DETECTIVES investigate yet another shooting in Sydney, police chiefs across the country are considering giving officers the power to search known criminals for guns without a warrant.

Federal Minister for Justice Jason Clare confirmed on Tuesday police ministers in each state and territory had been urged to take a tough stance on armed criminals.

He said an agreement to tackle the illegal gun trade in Australia had been reached between the State and Federal police ministers at a conference last week.

A report tabled by the Australian Crime Commission revealed more than a quarter of a million firearms were circulating throughout the national organised crime network.

Mr Clare said dismantling the trade would be a "major challenge" but planned reforms would go a long way to breaking the criminal code of silence and improving the ability to trace illegal firearms.

Under the new changes police would have the authority to search those subject to a Firearms Prohibition Order and their vehicle for guns.

In the past 12 months police in Qld and NSW have seen a significant increase in gun crime.

Most recently, a man was "kneecapped" during a violent home invasion in Sydney's west on Monday night.

About 10.30pm, four balaclava-clad men forced their way into a home and shot a 47-year-old man in the knee before jumping the back fences

Police believe victim was known to his attackers.

Anyone with information can phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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