Melbourne: Victoria Police is urging Victorians to aid its work in ridding the community of illegal firearms and dangerous weapons by supporting the nation-wide amnesty.
From July 1, Victorians will have three months to surrender unregistered and unwanted firearms, ammunition and weapons to Licensed Firearms Dealers without fear of prosecution.
Victoria Police Licensing and Regulation Division Superintendent Paul Millett said the national amnesty was well timed.
“It has been more than 20 years since there was a national amnesty and almost five since the last amnesty in Victoria when about 2500 weapons and firearms were handed in,” Supt Millett said.
“We want the community to help keep everyone safe by reducing the availability of unregistered firearms and illegal weapons to those who clearly do not want them for lawful purposes.”
Previous amnesties have seen firearms including imitation and antique firearms, swords, homemade weapons and hunting knives surrendered, an official press release said.
“We are asking people to take a moment to think about any old firearms or weapons they might have around the house or in storage,” Supt Millett said.
“Every weapon or illicit firearm we can destroy or move into the lawful and regulated system is another step towards a safer Victoria.”
Supt Millett said Victoria Police worked tirelessly to regulate the legal firearm industry and disrupt the illicit trade.
“We will continue to play our part by targeting those in the community who would seek to use firearms and weapons for unlawful purposes,” he said.
“Victoria Police has specialist teams dedicated to detecting and disrupting people who would seek to use illicit firearms.
“We also make no apologies for ensuring firearm licence holders abide by their licence restrictions.
“While the overwhelming majority of licence holders do the right thing, we know any firearm which falls into the wrong hands presents a serious safety risk to the community.”
During the amnesty period any person can surrender unwanted or unregistered firearms, ammunition or weapons to any Licensed Firearms Dealer without fear of prosecution for possessing the item.
People who are appropriately licensed may surrender their items for destruction, registration or sale. Those who are not appropriately licensed can surrender items for destruction.
Superintendent Millett reminded the community that while information will be collected about the items surrendered, participation in the amnesty is anonymous.