Dead­line looms for gun buy­back

Narrogin Observer - - Front Page - Tim Ed­munds

Po­lice are en­cour­ag­ing gun hold­ers to take ad­van­tage of the fi­nal days of the na­tional gun amnesty by hand­ing in their firearms with no ques­tions asked.

With two days re­main­ing in the three-month amnesty, 44 firearms have been handed in to po­lice sta­tions across the Great South­ern — 29 ri­fles, 10 shot­guns and five hand­guns.

In the same time, 737 firearms have been re­lin­quished across the State, with the ma­jor­ity be­ing ri­fles, as well as 40,000 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion. Po­lice Li­cens­ing En­force­ment In­spec­tor Jeff An­dri­ja­se­vich said the re­sults of the first na­tional amnesty since 1996 had pleased po­lice and guns could still be brought in with no ques­tions asked or penalty in­curred.

He said some his­toric weapons could find their way into mu­se­ums or his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties, while oth­ers would be de­stroyed.

“We ad­vise peo­ple if they are go­ing to bring in a firearm, just make sure it’s not loaded, mag­a­zine is out and they have bro­ken the firearm or taken the bolt out and they just cover it in some­thing when they walk in so they are not seen walk­ing into the sta­tion with a firearm,” he said.

“The whole point of the amnesty was com­mu­nity safety and we know there have been some bur­glar­ies here, so if some of those firearms turned up, we would be re­ally pleased.”

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

Great South­ern po­lice district Su­per­in­ten­dent Dom Wood said once the amnesty fin­ished on September 30, il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of firearms would be en­forced “ro­bustly” by po­lice. Supt Wood said the amnesty re­sults had con­trib­uted to mak­ing the re­gion safer.

“For me, that is 44 firearms in the right hands and not in the il­licit firearms mar­ket,” he said.

“There is some­thing like over a quar­ter of a mil­lion il­licit firearms in the Aus­tralian mar­ket and we want to make sure they come into safe hands and not into that mar­ket­place.

“Any op­por­tu­nity we can have to work with the com­mu­nity to get those guns into a safer en­vi­ron­ment is very good for us.”

Po­lice Li­cens­ing En­force­ment In­spec­tor Jeff An­dri­ja­se­vich and Great South­ern Su­per­in­ten­dent Dom Wood with some of the guns brought in to Great South­ern po­lice sta­tions dur­ing the amnesty.

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