Territory Stories

Economic Policy Scrutiny Committee Inquiry into the Firearms Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 November 2019

Details:

Title

Economic Policy Scrutiny Committee Inquiry into the Firearms Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 November 2019

Other title

Tabled paper 1423

Collection

Tabled papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT

Date

2019-11-26

Description

Tabled by Tony Sievers

Notes

Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.

Language

English

Subject

Tabled papers

Publisher name

Department of the Legislative Assembly

Place of publication

Darwin

File type

application/pdf

Use

Copyright

Copyright owner

See publication

License

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2019C00042

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/755112

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/768771

Page content

Inquiry into the Firearms Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 24 The reasonably required threshold 3.35 In order to understand the basis for police power to search a person subject to an FPO without warrant or consent, the Committee sought clarification from NTPOL regarding the precise meaning of the term reasonably required and was advised that: Reasonably required is a threshold which must be met prior to police exercising powers under sections 49U and 49W. At law, the highest threshold is actual knowledge, followed by reasonable grounds and then reasonable suspicion. Reasonably required is a lower threshold than these other thresholds. However, some basis for the exercise of the power is still required to meet the threshold. The test is an objective one and can be paraphrased as: would an ordinary person in the same position as the searching police officer have also formed the view that the search was required to determine if the person subject to the firearm prohibition order has acquired, possesses or is using a firearm or firearm related item in contravention of the order. The fact that the person is subject to a firearm prohibition order is not, in itself, a sufficient basis to undertake a search. The reasonably required threshold may be met through the receipt of intelligence about the person, information obtained during the course of an investigation or by police observations of the person. These factors would not necessarily meet the suspicion on reasonable grounds threshold, yet would met the reasonably required threshold.29 3.36 NTPOL further advised that both NSW and Victoria use the reasonably required threshold in relation to searches of persons issued with an FPO and that the Review of police use of the firearms prohibition order search powers. Section 74A of the Firearms Act 1996 undertaken by the NSW Ombudsman in August 2016 found that the power had been a useful tool to enable police to search in some circumstances where they previously could not.30 3.37 Although the NSW Ombudsmans Review did not suggest a change to the threshold test they did recommend that the search powers under s 74A be clarified to make it clear that a police officer can only exercise these powers if a search is reasonably required for the purpose of detecting the relevant offences.31 However, it is noteworthy that the NSW Ombudsman Review also found that the fact that a person was subject to an FPO was viewed by police as sufficient basis for a search in 14% of all search events, suggesting that not all police officers adequately understood the meaning of reasonably required.32 3.38 Proposed section 49U is modelled on the equivalent Victorian legislation which has been drafted to include the test if the exercise of the power is reasonably required 29 Northern Territory Police Force, Responses to Written Questions, p. 7, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP 30 Northern Territory Police Force, Responses to Written Questions, pp. 7- 8, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP 31 NSW Ombudsman, Review of police use of the firearms prohibition order search powers: Section 74A of the Firearms Act 1996, August 2016, p. 72, https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-andpublications/publications/reports/legislative-reviews/review-of-police-use-of-the-firearms-prohibition-ordersearch-powers-august-2016 32 NSW Ombudsman, Review of police use of the firearms prohibition order search powers: Section 74A of the Firearms Act 1996, August 2016, p. 71, https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-andpublications/publications/reports/legislative-reviews/review-of-police-use-of-the-firearms-prohibition-ordersearch-powers-august-2016 https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/reports/legislative-reviews/review-of-police-use-of-the-firearms-prohibition-order-search-powers-august-2016 https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/reports/legislative-reviews/review-of-police-use-of-the-firearms-prohibition-order-search-powers-august-2016 https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/reports/legislative-reviews/review-of-police-use-of-the-firearms-prohibition-order-search-powers-august-2016 https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/reports/legislative-reviews/review-of-police-use-of-the-firearms-prohibition-order-search-powers-august-2016 https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/reports/legislative-reviews/review-of-police-use-of-the-firearms-prohibition-order-search-powers-august-2016 https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/reports/legislative-reviews/review-of-police-use-of-the-firearms-prohibition-order-search-powers-august-2016


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