Members of six Motorcycle Clubs have had their firearms licenses suspended as part of a planned police operation across the Tasmania over the past week.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Jo Stolp said that a total of 34 members of Motorcycle Clubs possessing a total of 97 firearms had their firearms licences suspended during the operation, which began on 3 December.
Tasmania Police in collaboration with the National Anti-Gangs Squad (NAGS) across all police districts commenced a coordinated process of actioning the firearms suspensions and associated firearms seizures. The AFP-led NAGS brings Commonwealth resources and capabilities to target outlaw motorcycle gangs and support state and territory police to create a hostile environment for criminal gangs.
A total of six Motorcycle Clubs (Devils Henchman, Black Uhlans, Rebels, Bandidos, Outlaws and Nomads) have been prescribed as ‘Identified Organisations’.
Under S 29 of the Firearms Act, the Commissioner of Police can suspend/cancel firearms licences of people who are not fit and proper persons to hold firearms licences. It has been determined that members of the six identified Motorcycle Clubs are not fit and proper persons to have firearms.
“While Tasmania Police will consider the circumstances of each individual before refusing a firearms licence application or suspending an existing licence, the structure and culture of OMCGs mean that there’s a real risk that a member who lawfully possesses a firearm will be compelled to provide a fellow member with access to their firearm,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stolp said.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Stolp said the suspension of firearms licences was one of a number of tools that police have available to tackle criminal groups including Motorcycle Clubs.
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“While their members might ride motorcycles, the clubs exist first and foremost to profit from illegal activity. The members of these criminal gangs traffic drugs and firearms, launder money and use serious violence, including with firearms to extort money and enforce debts,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stolp said.
“Our aim is to disrupt the criminal activities of people associated with outlaw motorcycle gangs across the state. We will continue to work closely with our partners at the AFP NAGS to achieve this.”