Changes to NSW gun safety laws considered

Changes to NSW gun safety laws considered


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The murder of Jack, 15, and Jennifer Edwards, 13, has prompted calls for a review of NSW gun laws.

The murder of Jack, 15, and Jennifer Edwards, 13, has prompted calls for a review of NSW gun laws.

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Firearm licences would be reassessed as soon as gun owners were involved in family court proceedings under one proposal.

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The horrendous shooting murder of two teenagers at the hands of their father has prompted calls for a review of gun laws.

Firearm licences would be reassessed as soon as gun owners were involved in family court proceedings under one proposal aired after the deaths of Jack, 15, and Jennifer Edwards, 13.

The teenagers were killed in the bedroom of their West Pennant Hills home by their father John Edwards on Thursday.

The 68-year-old, who took his own life shortly after the shooting, had been in a long-running custody battle with the children's mother and bought the murder weapons only months earlier.

Opposition leader Luke Foley on Sunday said the deaths should prompt the community to "pause and reflect" and examine what can change.

He suggested reviewing the NSW laws surrounding gun clubs and removing guns from their premises.

Mr Foley and the not-for-profit group Gun Control Australia also floated the idea people be allowed a say when their partners or ex-partners apply for a gun licence.

GCA also wants firearm licences reviewed as soon as family court proceedings begin, saying current gun laws fail to adequately protect women and children because they require an AVO to be in place or a criminal charge before a licence may be revoked or suspended.

"By then, it may be too late to save a life," GCA director Samantha Lee said in a statement.

The new checks would be compulsory and include a firearm licence review where police would check if any person involved in family court proceedings had a gun licence and if there was any concern for the safety of that person, their immediate family or the public.

Police would also notify the partner if the other party had a gun licence, made an application for a firearm licence or an application to obtain a permit to acquire a licence.

The partner would be able to object to the application or continuation of the licence if they had safety concerns.

Under the reforms, police would have the power to suspend or revoke a licence and not issue a permit.

"The NSW government will consider any appropriate measures that will improve family and community safety, which is our paramount concern," a spokeswoman said in a statement on Sunday.

Police say two "quite powerful" handguns registered in John Edwards' name were used to kill his children and were found later at Edwards' Normanhurst home.

He also held licences for several other guns.

  • 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • beyondblue 1300 22 4636
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800, kidshelpline.com.au

Australian Associated Press

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