Page 4037 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 23 November 1993

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Question No. 1040

Weapons Licences - Entry of Premises

Mr Cornwell: To ask the Attorney General -

(1) Is the practice of the police, pursuant to paragraph 69 (1) (b) of the Weapons Act 1991 to seek a blanket written consent to enter premises at any time from owners of weapons when they register such weapons.

(2) If not, why is such an approach being adopted by some police officers.

(3) What penalties apply if people fail to sign a blanket consent.

Mr Connolly: the answer to Mr Cornwells question is as follows:

(1) No.

(2) I am advised by the Chief Police Officer that such an approach has not been, and will not be, adopted by members of the Australian Federal Police ACT Region Weapons Registry Section who are responsible for processing applications for weapons licences and renewals.

However, I am advised that on occasions, for example when attending premises to check on the safe keeping and storage of weapons, police do attempt to obtain consent to enter premises without the authority of a search warrant, pursuant to Section 69 (1) (b) of Weapons Act 1991 (the Act). In these circumstances police are required by Section 70 (1) to advise the occupier of the premises that he or she may refuse to give consent to enter the premises. Should the occupier consent, that person is requested to sign a written acknowledgment of his/her consent for police to enter at that time, pursuant to the provisions of Section 71 of the Act. Consent can be denied or withdrawn by the occupier at any time. Should consent be denied or withdrawn, police may then attempt to obtain a search warrant.

The normal police practice when seeking authority to enter premises and search for weapons is to obtain a search warrant pursuant to Section 72 of the Act.

(3) Not applicable

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