Firearms taken off our streets

Thou­sands of guns sur­ren­dered in state

NewsMail - - NEWS - Ash­ley Clark ash­

GUN own­ers in Bund­aberg have been part of a mas­sive haul in firearms, with more than 1300 handed in to the cen­tral re­gion polic­ing district as part of the Na­tional Gun Amnesty.

The district, which com­bines the Wide Bay Burnett, Capri­cor­nia, Mackay and the Sun­shine Coast, was top of the list for most guns sur­ren­dered between July 1 to Septem­ber 30.

The north­ern re­gion’s firearm tally was 408 while the Bris­bane re­gion sur­ren­dered 590 firearms.

Min­is­ter for Po­lice, Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices Mark Ryan and Deputy Com­mis­sioner Bob Gee said Queens­lan­ders had handed in more than 16,126 firearms over­all for regis­tra­tion, safe­keep­ing or de­struc­tion.

Of this to­tal, 6897 firearms have been reg­is­tered to ex­ist­ing firearm li­censees, 174 firearms have been stored for safe­keep­ing, 2974 will be de­stroyed and 6081 con­tinue to be pro­cessed.

Deputy Com­mis­sioner Gee said he was pleased with the re­sponse.

“This amnesty will help keep our com­mu­nity safe by en­sur­ing those firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands,” he said.

“Any firearm in the wrong hands can have tragic con­se­quences.”

Some of the al­ready-pro­cessed firearms sur­ren­dered in­cluded 6528 Cat­e­gory A weapons such as air ri­fles and shot guns and 2546 Cat­e­gory B weapons in­clud­ing dou­ble bar­rel cen­tre-fire ri­fles.

Mr Ryan said the suc­cess of the amnesty showed Queens­lan­ders were over­whelm­ingly firm in their back­ing of strict gun con­trol to keep the com­mu­nity safe.

“The quan­tity of firearms sur­ren­dered has been very pos­i­tive,” he said. “It has shown Queens­lan­ders want our state to be a safe place.

“Re­duc­ing un­reg­is­tered firearms im­proves pub­lic safety.”

But it hasn’t been smooth sail­ing with some groups.

Last month, One Na­tion ac­cused La­bor of treat­ing farm­ers like ter­ror­ists dur­ing a heated de­bate on farm­ers’ rights to own cat­e­gory H firearms.

One Na­tion Bund­aberg can­di­date Jane Tr­us­cott said on Face­book her party was com­mit­ted to “tak­ing a fair and bal­anced ap­proach to firearms own­er­ship”.

“In our re­gion, we know that firearm own­er­ship is a fun­da­men­tal tool of trade for our farm­ers,” Dr Tr­us­cott said.

“La­bor and the LNP clearly do not sup­port or un­der­stand the needs of pri­mary pro­duc­ers in re­gional Queens­land.”

More than 390 Cat­e­gory H firearms have been sur­ren­dered.

Any firearm in the wrong hands can have tragic con­se­quences.

— Dep Com­mis­sioner Bob Gee

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