With a fortnight to run on the Australia-wide gun amnesty, WA Police have encouraged everyone with a gun to consider handing it in no questions ask while the penalty-free period is still active.
South West Inspector Peter Morrissey and Inspector Jeff Andrijasevich from the WA Police licensing enforcement division addressed the media at Australind Police Station on Tuesday afternoon about the success of the amnesty so far.
Across the state, 737 guns and more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition have been handed in since the amnesty began on July 1 with 283 of those guns handed in outside the metropolitan area.
Of the 737 guns, 117 are shotguns, 506 are rifles and 114 are handguns.
Inspector Morrissey said police were encouraging residents to look in their sheds and cupboards for any old weapons that they can hand in before the amnesty period finishes.
“Maybe it’s a family heirloom, or a gun someone who has passed away owned or a gun you’ve found in a house you’ve recently purchased,” he said. “We are gathering them up, no questions asked, in the interests of community safety.”
Inspector Andrijasevich said everything from rare collectable guns, to war relics to guns manufactured recently have been handed in.
“Handing in guns is very easy, there is minimal paperwork and no cost. The public don’t have to give a name either if they really don’t want to,” he said.
“The guns that are handed in are normally destroyed but we can also return stolen guns to the original owners where it’s possible and appropriate.
“We are also working with a number of historical societies to see if there are ways to make safe and keep some of the oldest guns that have historical significance.”
A national gun amnesty was held in 1996 after the Port Arthur massacre with a buy-back program taking more than 660,000 firearms out of private hands.
WA then held a state-wide amnesty in 2008 with more than 1,200 weapons and 80,000 rounds of ammunition voluntarily surrendered.
For advice on how to surrender a gun before the current amnesty ends on September 30, contact your local police station.