Gun amnesty comes to end

80 guns handed in to lo­cal po­lice sta­tions

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Lachlan Mcivor lachlan.mcivor@gat­ton­star.com.au

LO­CAL po­lice sta­tions re­ceived 80 un­li­censed, un­reg­is­tered or un­wanted firearms dur­ing the three month long na­tional gun amnesty, which came to an end on Septem­ber 30.

Gat­ton po­lice took in 47 guns while 33 were handed in to Lai­d­ley po­lice to join the 16,126 firearms sur­ren­dered by peo­ple across the coun­try.

Of­fi­cer in Charge of Gat­ton po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Row­land Browne said the large num­ber of guns handed to his sta­tion was positive for the com­mu­nity.

“The Lock­yer Val­ley has a high level of gun own­er­ship so the num­bers do not sur­prise me,” Snr Sgt Browne said.

“There is now (close to a hun­dred) guns less that can fall into criminal hands and that the for­mer own­ers do not have to worry about.

“Mainly it was ri­fles and long arms but a good mix from very good con­di­tion to in­op­er­a­ble.

“There were a cou­ple of very small re­volvers handed in, prob­a­bly EX-WWII weapons, but that were in good or­der and eas­ily con­cealed.”

Snr Sgt Browne said the vast ma­jor­ity of guns are du­ti­fully held un­der li­cense by their own­ers and the pe­riod was pre­dom­i­nantly a way to off­load un­wanted guns that are at risk of fall­ing into the wrong hands.

“The re­al­ity is that guns can kill peo­ple, whether it be through crime, ac­ci­dents or sui­cide and if there are guns that serve no pur­pose this is the time to dis­pose of them,” he said.

“Cer­tain crim­i­nals will al­ways try to have guns but lim­it­ing the op­por­tu­nity makes it harder for them to steal or other­wise get them.

“A reg­u­lar amnesty such as this is al­ways help­ful.”

Po­lice, Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices Min­is­ter Mark Ryan deemed the amnesty a suc­cess.

“The quan­tity of firearms sur­ren­dered has been very positive,” Mr Ryan said.

“It has shown Queens­lan­ders want our state to be a safe place.

“Re­duc­ing un­reg­is­tered firearms im­proves pub­lic safety.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

AMNESTY: A few of the guns handed into Gat­ton po­lice.

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