Firearm amnesty limits chances

The National Firearms Amnesty will start next Saturday and police believe it is a positive initiative for people in rural and remote communities.

The Gun Amnesty was discussed at the Rural Crime Advisory Group Meeting at the Nyngan RSL on Tuesday. 

Darling River Local Area Command Crime Manager Acting Superintendent, Commander Rodney Grant told The Nyngan Observer at the meeting he believes this is a positive movement for everyone.

“This is good for everyone, there’s a potential to reduce firearm offence on properties, people having livestock shot, firearm trafficking is less available and less danger of a gun accidentally going off,” he said. 

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“There is less potential for stealing at properties and use for crime.”

The three month amnesty which will run from July 1 to September 30 is federal government initiative aiming to reduce a unregistered firearms in the community. 

During the amnesty people can hand in unregistered firearms or firearm-related items for registration or destruction without penalty or fear or prosecution.  

“It might be firearms that have been handed down from a deceased estate or people don't need them anymore, and maybe there were some that were left behind in the last round 20 years ago and people feel they may want to rid themselves of those firearms and this is a great opportunity to do that,” Parkes Electorate MP Mark Coulton said.

Mr Coulton acknowledged Australia has a problem with illegal firearms, but said the government had no expectation “the criminals are going to hand in their pistols”.

People feel they may want to rid themselves of those firearms and this is a great opportunity to do that,

Mark Coulton.

“At the same time this is not targeting law-abiding gun owners,” Mr Coulton said.

“It's just that if you have a firearm that's no longer needed, it's an opportunity to hand them in.”

The government estimates there are 260,000 illegal guns in the community across Australia.