April 18, 2012
The Queensland Police Union has called on tougher penalties for criminals with illegal firearms to curb an increase in gun crime in the state.
QPU President Ian Leavers' comments come after a spate of shooting deaths in Brisbane in the past fortnight.
A man was shot dead by police in the northern Brisbane suburb of Bracken Ridge yesterday after he allegedly threatened them with a gun.
Jack "Jei" Lee, 22, was shot in the head and killed by an unknown gunman in a shopping centre car park at Eight Mile Plains on Thursday.
Police are also hunting for the person who shot dead Rochedale South father-of-two John Lazarro in front of his teenage daughter last Wednesday.
A man was also charged with attempted murder after he and an accomplice fled a random breath testing site at Everton Park, firing shots at police as they made their getaway.
Mr Leavers said the increase in crime was indicative of Queensland's "two-speed economy".
"The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening and with the ever present issue of drugs, criminals are becoming more and more desperate," Mr Leavers said in a statement.
"We are seeing illegal guns coming from southern states and overseas into the Queensland market, and detecting illegal firearms coming in through our ports is like finding a needle in a haystack.
"We need tougher penalties for those in possession of illegal firearms instead of the slap on the wrist that offenders currently receive."
Premier Campbell Newman told reporters in Cairns today his election promise of recruiting 1100 more police and returning 200 from desk jobs to the frontline would help stem the trend.
Mr Newman said the extra numbers would be bolstered by a firearm squad to be based on the Gold Coast.
"The attorney-general (Jarod Bleijie) will be looking at the gun laws, the gun possession laws, to see whether we need to tighten up,"he said.