More than 1000 guns handed in to police
THE zone that includes Echuca and Rochester has surrendered 1198 firearms – part of a large 3654-gun haul – in the Victorian government’s threemonth amnesty.
The program was aimed at reducing the risk of the weapons falling into the wrong hands.
Rifles, shotguns, handguns and swords were among the items crushed and melted or registered after they were surrendered during the National Firearm Amnesty, which concluded at the end of September.
But police say the final figures are likely to climb to about 4000 surrendered firearms once the returns have been finalised.
Licensing and regulation division’s Superintendent Paul Millett said police were pleased with the results, which represented the most effective firearm amnesty Victoria had seen for a decade.
“The amnesty has resulted in a tangible benefit to community safety here in Victoria by ensuring firearms and weapons are kept out of reach of people who don’t need them for lawful purposes,” he said.
“Victoria Police has a number of dedicated resources in place to tackle the illicit firearm market and to ensure compliance by licence holders on an ongoing basis.”
A number of rare and historically significant firearms and weapons were handed in across the amnesty and these will be on display in museums across the country.
Although the amnesty has concluded, police encourage anyone with unwanted weapons to contact their local police station to arrange the surrender of these items.
“The safety of the community will always be Victoria Police’s first priority,” Supt Millett said.
“During the amnesty, items were surrendered to licensed firearm dealers whose assistance was invaluable during the amnesty period.
“While the majority of firearm licence holders are responsible when it comes to storage of their firearms, police will continue to conduct compliance operations aimed at ensuring proper firearm storage.”