Victorians in the state’s south west are being urged to hand in any unwanted, unregistered or illegal firearms over the next month as part of an amnesty.
The amnesty, which kicks off on 1 March, allows members of the public to surrender firearms and weapons to police stations in the Warrnambool and Southern Grampians Police Service Areas, without fear of prosecution.
Divisional Firearms Officer Leading Senior Constable Malcolm Agnew said the community has until 31 March 2020 to provide police with any illegal or unwanted firearms for them to be destroyed.
“During previous amnesties we’ve seen a number of items voluntarily surrendered, included high-powered firearms, handguns, imitation firearms and air rifles,” LSC Agnew said.
“Over the next month, those in Victoria’s south west will be able to anonymously surrender firearms to their local police station or a licensed firearms dealer.
“Since the 2017 national firearms amnesty, local police have been working hard to improve public safety by driving down the number of dangerous weapons and unlicensed firearms in the community.
“We want the community to help keep everyone safe by reducing the availability of unregistered firearms and illegal weapons to those who clearly do not want them for lawful purposes.
“We are asking people to take a moment to think about any old firearms or weapons they might have around the house or in storage.
“This amnesty is all about giving people the opportunity to make the right choice and hand in their unwanted or illegal firearms, knives and other weapons over the next month.”
People are encouraged to ring their local police station before bringing items in. All firearms must be wrapped in paper, plastic or cloth and transported to a police station in a safe and secure manner.
Anyone who has a registered firearm can hand the item to a Licensed Firearm Dealer at any time for sale or destruction.
The penalty for possessing an unregistered firearm starts from $19,800 or two years imprisonment.