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Guns seized in Launceston raids

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A grenade and two tasers were among a haul of weapons collected by Launceston police, as part of their crackdown on illegal firearms.

A number of properties have been searched since police launched the operation two weeks ago, with 17 guns seized, along with a quantity of drugs including heroin, cocaine and ice.

Detective Inspector Craig Fox said the taskforce involved members of Launceston CIB, specifically concentrating on firearm crime.

“Our taskforce has been actively investigating intelligence relating to firearms and seeking to take as many illegal firearms off our streets, and bring the offenders before the courts, as soon as possible,” Detective Inspector Fox said.

“Any illicit firearm is a concern to Tasmania Police. Firearms in the wrong hands are dangerous and are of utmost concern to police."

A glock replica pistol and shotguns were among the items seized, as well as ammunition, and drug paraphernalia.

Six people were charged as a result of the crackdown, and are facing a number of firearm and other offences.

The operation was launched following a surge in gun crime in Launceston in recent weeks, including the shooting of an Invermay man. 

Police admit the increase in illegal firearm activity is worrying.

“While it’s normal that crime trends fluctuate from time to time, over the past several weeks, there has been a concerning number of incidents involving firearms," Detective Inspector Fox said.

“Although the vast majority of the incidents involve people who are known to both police and one another, we are taking this extremely seriously."

Police will also be conducting a major firearms amnesty across the Northern District next week, for people to hand in unwanted guns without fear of penalty or prosecution.

They're also urging members of the public who have information about illegal guns to come forward, and help protect the wider community.

“We know that there are people out there in the community who know people in possession of illegal firearms," Detective Inspector Fox said.

"Please come forward and provide information so we can take these illegal firearms off the street permanently."

Anyone with information about stolen firearms or illegal firearms activity should contact police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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