Firearm amnesty: Police urge residents to surrender unwanted, unregistered guns

Surrender: Mid North Coast Local Area Command is joining a national gun amnesty from July 1. Photo: file
Surrender: Mid North Coast Local Area Command is joining a national gun amnesty from July 1. Photo: file

Police are hopeful of netting more unwanted or unregistered guns during a planned three month-long firearms amnesty.

The national firearms amnesty is on from July 1 through to September 30, 2018.

Mid North Coast Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Kim Fehon urged anyone with unwanted or unregistered guns to surrender them during this period.

The three month-long 2017 amnesty netted some 700 items in the local area command, she said.

"These items are no longer out there in the public domain," she said.

"It has been shown over previous events that this is a good time to surrender those firearms that are unwanted or unregistered without penalty.

"Anyone with an unregistered firearm should attend a police station or a licenced firearms dealer and surrender their firearm.

"This amnesty includes firearms, firearm related items, ammunition, stocks and parts," the crime manager said.

Detective Inspector Fehon said people who may have recently moved onto a rural property should also check for any unwanted firearms and participate in the amnesty.

Importantly too, never take a loaded firearm into a public place and anyone with concerns about transporting firearms should contact the NSW police firearms registry on 1300 362 562 for assistance.

Kim Fehon

"Importantly too, never take a loaded firearm into a public place and anyone with concerns about transporting firearms should contact the NSW police firearms registry on 1300 362 562 for assistance," she added.

During the three-month period in 2017, NSW netted 24,831 firearms and 1898 firearm parts for destruction, sale or registration – more than any other state or territory – prompting another operation to reduce the number of unregistered and unwanted firearms in the community.

Deputy Commissioner Metropolitan Field Operations Jeff Loy, said there has been continued interest from the community to dispose of unwanted firearms without penalty.

“In 2017, we had nearly 8000 firearms surrendered for destruction – including 951 handguns and 5558 shotguns – with about 15,000 handed in for registration and 2100 handed in for sale,” Deputy Commissioner Loy said.

“This is another opportunity for people to get rid of any firearm or firearm parts without the fear of prosecution.”

Deputy Commissioner Regional NSW Field Operations Gary Worboys, said gun theft is a major concern for NSW Police, particularly in regional areas.

“We are working hard to address the issue of firearm theft and it’s important we all work together and have the support of licensed firearm owners to make sure people who own guns keep them stored safely and securely,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

“Every firearm captured in the amnesty is one we previously knew nothing about and risked falling into the hands of criminal gangs or organised crime syndicates.”

For more information visit www.police.nsw.gov.au

Results from the National Firearms Amnesty are available at www.police.nsw.gov.au

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