New laws will ensure DV accused lose access to guns

Western Australian police will seize firearms from gun owners accused of domestic violence under new amendments to further bolster already tough laws being debated by parliament.

Police Minister Paul Papalia said the changes would empower police to take weapons without a warrant.

The changes come in the wake of the murder of Perth mother Jennifer Petelczyc and her daughter, Gretl, at the hands of a man searching for his ex-wife.

"New measures will see police suspend a gun owner's licence and confiscate their firearms as a matter of process every time domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence is reported," he told reporters on Tuesday.

The gun owner's licence will remain suspended until a review into that person's status as a fit and proper person to hold a licence is completed. 

Under the current laws, the mandatory seizure of firearms occurs when a violence restraining order is issued, but the amendments lower that threshold.

Mr Papalia said the proposed changes would anger some gun owners but it was fair and reasonable that safety takes priority over the privilege of owning a gun. 

"No law is guaranteed to prevent family and domestic violence, however, Jennifer and Gretl's murderer would have been impacted by our new gun laws in a number of ways, including numerical limits, health checks and collector licence requirements," he said.

The amendments will also make it more difficult for gun owners seeking to obtain or retain a collector's licence.

They will need to show they have a prolonged and genuine interest in the study, preservation or collection of firearms and be a member of an approved society of firearm collectors.

Handgun collection will only be allowed when an individual can prove the significant historical value of firearms more than 50 years old.

The laws, if introduced, will also prohibit the collection of live ammunition for any firearm listed against a collector's licence.

Jennifer, 59, and Gretl, 18, were shot dead with a handgun by registered firearms owner Mark James Bombara, 63, at their Floreat home in May before he took his own life as police arrived at the property.

The murders shocked the WA community and raised questions about whether the state's gun law amendments, touted as the toughest in the country, went far enough.

Bombara's daughter, Ariel, later told media she repeatedly warned police about her father's stash of weapons amid fears for her own life after she and her mother fled a home they shared with him due to abuse.

Bombara owned 13 guns.

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