Crackdown on firearms

Crackdown on firearms

Possession of an unlicensed firearm can result in up to three years in prison.

Rockingham Police officer-in-charge Stuart Mearns said the amnesty provided people the opportunity to voluntarily surrender firearms for destruction, or register and retain them legally.

‘It’s important we know how many firearms there are in the community, and who has them,’ Senior Sergeant Mearns said.

‘There are people who come into possession of unlicensed firearms through things like deceased estates, or perhaps they’ve moved house and forgotten to re-register their own gun.

‘The amnesty gives these people the opportunity to do the right thing and register them again or have them surrendered. We’ve also had burglaries from time to time where firearms have been stolen, so if they’re registered, it’s easier to trace them.

‘Owning a firearm is certainly not a right in WA, it’s a privilege and you need to have a legitimate reason for owning one. People also have to make sure their firearms are secured properly or face being prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

‘The amnesty is a wake-up call to make sure firearm owners have everything in order.’

Sen Sgt Mearns said firearms could be surrendered at the front counter of a local police station.

If people do not know how to safely unload a gun or are wary of touching an unknown firearm, he urged them to call their local police station.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said the amnesty was the first in WA since 2006.

‘As long as the firearms have not been stolen or used in criminal activities, people can be assured that immunity from prosecution will apply,’ she said.

A firearm call centre has been established to assist with any amnesty enquiries.

Call 1300 171 011, Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm, or check the WA Police website at www.police.wa.gov.au.