South West police calling on community to hand in illegal & unregisted firearms
Crime Stoppers and South West police are encouraging residents to continue to take advantage of the national firearms amnesty and surrender illegal or unregistered weapons.
The amnesty allows those in possession of unlicensed firearms to hand them in without penalty.
Since July, almost 300 shotguns, rifles and handguns have been surrendered across WA — about 60 per cent of which came from the regions.
Crime Stoppers CEO Vince Hughes estimated 250,000 long arm and 10,000 handguns were unregistered in Australia and he urged those who may be holding on to a family heirloom to come forward and register their weapon.
“If somebody burgles your house and finds the gun and it’s used in a crime afterwards or someone is injured that’s not a good outcome,” he said.
He warned mental health and firearms did not mix and said it created a dangerous environment when children were able to access the weapons.
WA Police Licensing Enforcement Division acting sergeant Greg Kingston said firearms needed to be registered so police could be aware of what was present in the community.
South West District Superintendent Geoff Stewart said the region was not immune to incidents involving firearms.
Margaret River man Francesco Bonanno made headlines in May when he received a three-year prison term, suspended for 18 months, for firing a shotgun from his home that prompted a 12-hour stand-off with police in November.
Those caught with an unregistered or illegal firearm outside of amnesty conditions could face a fine of up to $280,000 or up to 14 years in jail.
To surrender or register a firearm, contact your local police station.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails