Gun amnesty late flurry

Albany Extra - - Extra News - Tim Edmunds

Al­most 100 firearms were sur­ren­dered to po­lice in the Great South­ern in the fi­nal two weeks of the na­tional gun amnesty, which fin­ished on Satur­day.

A to­tal of 127 firearms were handed in to po­lice dur­ing the three-month amnesty, the first of its kind since 1996.

Only 44 firearms had been vol­un­tar­ily re­lin­quished by Septem­ber 20, fol­lowed by a late flurry, which po­lice have at­trib­uted to in­creased pub­lic­ity of the amnesty.

Great South­ern po­lice district Su­per­in­ten­dent Dom Wood said gun own­ers had one last op­por­tu­nity to hand in their firearms with­out fear of pros­e­cu­tion and thanked the com­mu­nity for their sup­port of the cam­paign.

“Those firearms are now in safe hands and can­not fall into the hands of crim­i­nals,” he said. Across the State a to­tal of 1242 firearms were sur­ren­dered to po­lice sta­tions, in­clud­ing 186 shot­guns, 860 ri­fles and 196 hand­guns, as well as 65,618 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion.

Sev­eral his­tor­i­cal firearms were also handed in and are now be­ing con­sid­ered for do­na­tion to his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties and mu­se­ums, in­clud­ing a BSA train­ing ri­fle from about 1918 given to Katan­ning po­lice.

The last State amnesty in 2013 re­sulted in 1280 firearms and about 80,000 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion be­ing handed in.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Michelle Roberts said the re­sults of the amnesty were pleas­ing as the last was only four years ago.

“Dis­turbingly, among the sur­ren­dered items was an as­sort­ment of high-pow­ered weapons and guns that had been mod­i­fied, pre­sum­ably for no other rea­son than crim­i­nal pur­poses,” she said.

“I’m pleased to say th­ese are now on the way to the scrap heap.”

Katan­ning Sgt Aaron Honey with an­tique ri­fles.

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