POLICE CALL FOR GUNS SURRENDER
Local cops welcome national amnesty to avoid firearms falling into wrong hands.
Great Southern police say they are ready to fill their firearm cabinet with surrendered weapons after the nationwide gun amnesty comes into effect on July 1.
With increased numbers of burglaries on rural and residential properties in the region, WA Police is keen to take advantage of the three-month nationwide gun amnesty and encouraged locals to surrender their unlicensed firearms and ammunition to the police without fear of prosecution.
During this period, any guns surrendered to the police will be taken without legal consequences.
In March, Great Southern police Superintendent Dom Wood said the number of gun safe thefts had reached a concerning level.
Narrogin police Senior Constable Mike Budrovich said there had not been a spike within the Narrogin area, although a burglary that occurred several weeks ago did result in firearms being stolen.
“We think it was a chance finding rather than someone targeting guns,” he said. “We are concerned as to who might have these guns so we’d like them to take the opportunity to bring them in.”
Sen. Const. Budrovich said he occasionally saw people bring in old family firearms that were unlicensed during amnesty periods.
“If anyone has firearms that are unlicensed, we request that they bring them in and we dispose of them,” he said.
“We don’t want them getting into the wrong hands.”
WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts said Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission data have indicated there about 250,000 illegal firearms in Australia, but the WA number is harder to define.
In 2013, a three-month Statewide firearm amnesty resulted in 1281 being handed in to WA Police, including almost 500 firearms from regional WA.
The amnesty runs from July 1 to September 30.