Gun amnesty late flurry

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Almost 100 firearms were surrendered to police in the Great Southern in the final two weeks of the national gun amnesty, which finished on Saturday.

A total of 127 firearms were handed in to police during the three-month amnesty, the first of its kind since 1996.

Only 44 firearms had been voluntarily relinquished by September 20, followed by a late flurry, which police have attributed to increased publicity of the amnesty.

Great Southern police District Superintendent Dom Wood said gun owners had one last opportunity to hand in their firearms without fear of prosecution and thanked the community for their support of the campaign.

“Those firearms are now in safe hands and cannot fall into the hands of criminals,” he said.

Across the State a total of 1242 firearms were surrendered to police stations, including 186 shotguns, 860 rifles and 196 handguns, as well as 65,618 rounds of ammunition.

Several historical firearms were also handed in and are now being considered for donation to historical societies and museums, including a BSA training rifle from around 1918 given to Katanning police.

The last State amnesty in 2013 resulted in 1280 firearms and around 80,000 rounds of ammunition being handed in.

Police Minister Michelle Roberts said the results of the amnesty were pleasing considering the last one was only held four years ago.

“Disturbingly, among the surrendered items was an assortment of high-powered weapons and guns that had been modified, presumably for no other reason than criminal purposes,” she said.

“I’m pleased to say these are now on the way to the scrap heap.”

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