National Firearms Amnesty: some guns surrendered as clock ticks

The clock is ticking for owners of unregistered and unwanted guns in the Orana region to surrender their weapons without facing a penalty.

Authorities announced a national firearms amnesty to run from July 1 to September 30.

Within a fortnight some unregistered guns have already been handed over in the Orana Local Area Command, Inspector Jason Pietruszka said.

But police anticipate a further influx before the end of the amnesty.

“We have had a number of firearms handed in, from old rusted relics to current firearms,” Inspector Pietruszka said.

He urged people to take the opportunity of the amnesty to hand in any unregistered or decommissioned firearms, or if they were required, proceed to register them.

Sometimes the weapons were handed down as heirlooms, he said.

We have had a number of firearms handed in, from old rusted relics to current firearms. - Inspector Jason Pietruszka, Orana Local Area Command

People wishing to hand in an unregistered firearm can take it to a police station or to a licensed firearm dealer.

Possession of unregistered or prohibited firearms is a criminal offence, however amnesty arrangements provide protection from prosecution.

“Now is the time,” Inspector Pietruszka said.

As the amnesty was announced in June, Deputy Commissioner regional NSW field operations Gary Worboys said gun theft was a major concern for NSW Police, particularly in regional areas.

“NSW Police is committed to stopping firearms falling into the hands of criminals,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

“Too many firearms are not stored securely, making them an easy target for thieves to steal multiple firearms during break-and-enters, particularly at rural properties.”

Outside the amnesty period, the maximum penalty for possessing three or more unregistered guns is 10 years in prison, but that jumps to 20 years if one or more of the guns is a prohibited firearm or a pistol.

Police say under no circumstances should loaded firearms be taken into public places. For more information visit www.firearmsamnesty.ag.gov.au or call 1800 909 826.

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