Police seize 40 guns, including machine gun in dealer raid
LIVES have been saved as a result of a mass seizure of dangerous weapons, Tasmania Police says.
Since May more than 40 firearms, silencers, a taser and ammunition were seized as part of an ongoing investigation into firearm trafficking.
Detective Inspector Damien George said most recently on September 1, members of the Crime and Intelligence Command led a search at Parattah for illegal firearms, assisted by members of the Bridgewater CIB, Southern Crime Management Unit, Firearms Services, and the Dog Detection Unit.
"As a result of that search a number of pistols and a sub-machine gun were located," Det Insp George said.
A 57-year-old Richmond man, who police will allege was operating as a licenced Tasmanian firearms dealer at the time, was charged with unlawful trafficking in firearms and bailed to appear in the Hobart Magistrates Court in March.
A 63-year-old Parattah man was charged with a number of firearm offences, including unlawful trafficking in firearms and possession of prohibited and unregistered firearms, and was bailed to appear in the Hobart Magistrates Court in February.
Dep Insp George said the recovery of the machine gun was troubling.
"That is a prohibited firearm, albeit that it dates back to World War II, it is a machine gun that has the ability to fire significant rounds in very quick succession," he said.
"The individual had gone to a reasonable effort to conceal that weapon within his premises."
Dep Insp George said trafficking was of the utmost concern to Tasmania Police, due to the impacts illicit firearms could have on the community.
"If people can't access such weaponry then the community is safer," he said.
"We know there is a black market that exists in respect to firearms. They are a valuable commodity in the criminal element."
The Australian Crime and Intelligence Commission is assisting police with nationwide traces on all the illicit firearms seized to-date.
Tasmanians with unregistered or unused firearms are urged to take advantage of the state's permanent firearm amnesty.
Anyone with information about stolen or illegal firearms can contact police on 131 444 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000 or at crimestopperstas.com.au.
Originally published as Police seize 40 guns, including machine gun in dealer raid