Stop-and-search: Police search for weapons at a train station. Photo: Ken Irwin
NSW police will be given greater powers to stop and search people, cars, workplaces, bikie club houses and ''criminal hangouts'' without a warrant.
The legislation, to be introduced into State Parliament this week, will apply to people who have been banned from owning guns.
At present, police need strong evidence and a judge's signature before searching a premises or vehicle for guns. Under the changes, police will be able to search without a warrant, even if there is no cause for suspicion, Premier Barry O'Farrell said.
''Criminals who carry weapons illegally need to know … there won't be any place for them to hide,'' he said.
Fewer than 70 people in NSW are subject to a firearm ban. The new laws will make it easier to increase that number, Mr O'Farrell said.
The penalty for possessing or supplying illegal weapons will rise from 10 to 14 years' imprisonment. Police Minister Michael Gallacher said police will be able to target known people.
''The existence of the banning order will be in itself the ability that police will need to pull them over, search their cars … simply walk in the door,'' he said.
NSW Police declined to comment on the specific changes to be introduced. A spokesman said it would welcome any initiative ''that will help us get illegal weapons off the street and make our community safer for everyone''.
The tougher measures follow consultation with NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and a greater focus by the NSW government on tackling gun crime.
Civil libertarians have concerns about the measures and the implications for police accountability. NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Cameron Murphy stressed the importance of a warrant.
''What a search warrant does is confine the police's activities, so we know why they're searching, and ensures there's a legitimate reason for them to do so,'' he said on ABC on Sunday.
''By removing that level of accountability, all we do is set up the scene … for perhaps police corruption, because there's no accountability over their actions.''
Labor made a similar proposal last week but it was shot down by the government. Mr O'Farrell said Labor's bill would not work because it concentrated power in the police commissioner's hands.
The Premier's announcement came as police said they had charged a member of the Hell's Angels with a range of gun offences after finding a shortened rifle and ammunition in his car. The 27-year-old was due to appear in court on Sunday. He was stopped by police at Darling Point on Saturday evening and charged with possessing a prohibited firearm.