Police want you to hand in your guns | Photos and video

Anyone with an unregistered firearm in their possession will have the chance to legally dispose of or register it without penalty between July 1 and September 30, 2018.

The Orana Mid-Western Police District has joined the National Firearms Amnesty aimed at reducing the number of unregistered and unwanted firearms in Australia.

Inspector Dan Skelly said there had been continued interest from the community to dispose of unwanted firearms with no questions asked.

“Unregistered and illegal firearms are a significant risk to our community, especially when they end up in the hands of criminals,” he said. 

“There are hefty penalties for possessing unregistered or prohibited firearms. However, amnesty arrangements protect from prosecution, so now is an excellent time to hand them in so we can safely dispose of them.

"In rural areas, some people find guns when they are cleaning up and they have no idea what to do with it, so this is a good idea because people can hand them in without fear of getting into trouble."

But Dubbo Gunpro’s Martin Bourke said whilst the initiative is worthwhile there should be a permanent amnesty in place.

"We think a permanent amnesty is a better idea than having one once a year for a couple of months," he said.

“Not everyone that finds a gun is a criminal, sometimes people find a gun that has been hidden away and they come across it, the police would like to know where any unregistered firearm is so a permanent amnesty would allow for someone to bring a firearm in, then the police know where that firearm is.

“At the end of the day a criminal does not care about firearm laws, they don’t care about the firearm registry they don’t care about an amnesty. The last amnesty was purely people wanting to do the right thing, 99 percent of the people who brought guns in were normal members of the community. I certainly didn't have any underworld figures walk into my shop saying they wanted to get rid of a firearm; the main thing is most people want to do the right thing and a permanent amnesty would allow that to happen.”

Firearms and firearm-related items can be surrendered under amnesty arrangements at approved drop-off points, which include licensed firearm dealers, mobile stations, and police stations.

Under no circumstances should loaded firearms be taken into public places – including police stations. Anyone with concerns about handling firearms or safely transporting them can contact the NSW Police Force Firearms Registry on 1300 362 562 for assistance.

This story Police want you to hand in your guns | Photos and video first appeared on Mudgee Guardian.