LESS than a week after a shooting in St John's Park, the state government has announced plans to crack down on gun crime through proposed new laws.
Changes to be introduced in State Parliament this week would give police powers to search for guns without a warrant.
Premier Barry O'Farrell said on Sunday the changes meant police would be able to detain a person subject to a firearms ban to search them for guns.
"Criminals who carry weapons illegally need to know police will be able to stop and search for them in their cars, in their homes and in their workplace — there won't be any place for them to hide," he said.
"The community rightly expects people who use illegal guns to be caught and to face the full weight of the law."
Penalties for illegal possession of firearms or supply of a firearm for someone who is subject to a firearms ban will be increased from 10 to 14 years in jail.
"Tackling gun crime is a key priority for the NSW government, which is why we are determined to hand police extra powers," Mr O'Farrell said.
Police Minister Michael Gallacher said the current laws on firearms bans were ineffective and, as a result, rarely used by police.
"The tough new measures will be introduced to the Parliament this week and come following consultation with NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione," he said.
"Police have been doing a fantastic job fighting gun crime, with officers taking 9000 guns, including 729 handguns, off the streets last year."
Last Wednesday, Opposition Leader John Robertson visited Wetherill Park to talk about gun crime.
He called on Mr O'Farrell to back Labor's proposed legislation that would give police powers to ban people such as gang members from accessing weapons — and search and send them to jail if they failed to comply.
Mr Robertson proposed to amend the Firearms Act 1996 to give police the powers to search criminals subject to a Firearms Prohibition Order without a warrant.
Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard argued in Parliament that Labor's bill had weaknesses.
■Police are appealing for information about a shooting in St Johns Park shortly after 7.30pm on Tuesday, September 10.
Police went to Footscray Avenue after reports of shots being fired. No one was injured and no property was damaged.
Police are hoping to speak to the male driver of a white Mercedes sedan seen in the area at the time of the incident.
If anyone sees the man or the vehicle they should not approach them but call triple-0 immediately.