More than 1000 guns handed in to po­lice

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

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.”

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