NSW Police, NSW Government Launch State-Wide Firearms Amnesty
This follows the success of the national gun amnesty in 2017, when more than 57,000 weapons were surrendered.
What you need to know
- The firearms amnesty will run between July 1 and September 30
- People who surrender a gun during this time will have "no questions asked"
- Police are calling on gun owners to consider their need for a firearm
A new gun amnesty has been announced by NSW Police and the NSW Government as they continue to crackdown on illegal firearms across the state.
The amnesty, announced on Wednesday, will run between July 1 and September 30 this year, where people who have an unregistered or illegal firearm will have "no questions asked" when they present it within the designated period.
People across NSW can make an appointment at their local police station or at one of 270 licensed gun dealers involved in the program to have their weapons either registered or destroyed.
"This is an important initiative and an opportunity for us to do more to increase public safety by taking previously unknown firearms, unregistered firearms from the community and have them properly recorded and/or destroyed," Minister for Police Troy Grant told reporters on Wednesday.
This initiative follows the success of the national gun amnesty in 2017, where more than 57,000 firearms were presented to police. Nearly 25,000 of those weapons were presented in NSW, with 8000 destroyed, 15,000 registered and 2100 sold.
Amnesty Calls On Community's Goodwill
Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy said the amnesty called on the goodwill of people with firearms, asking them to consider the threat such weapons posed to those around them.
"Ask yourself the question, 'Do you need that firearm in your home, what risk does it pose to you and your family or what risk could it pose to the community if it gets into the wrong hands,'" Loy said.
Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said the amnesty would work to prevent crime in regional NSW, as well as metropolitan areas.
"I would implore people across country NSW, and indeed the state, to grab the opportunity to take more firearms away from thieves that can easily break into these places [storage areas] and use them for bad in your community," he said.
NSW Police admits it's often non-crime groups that surrender firearms in amnesties, as less than two percent of registered firearm owners will commit a gun-related crime.
Guns Are Mainly Inherited Or Imported
There are a number of ways people in NSW and other states can access firearms in Australia.
"They are often willed to people through estates, particularly in country NSW, they can be heirlooms that pass from one family member to the other," Grant told media.
Grant said weapons were also illegally imported by criminal organisations, which were consequently used by organised crime groups to commit gun offences. Police were unable to confirm how many imported guns annually contribute to gun crime.
Firearm theft is also an issue, especially in country NSW. Commissioner Worboys urged gun owners across the state to ensure their weapons are stored properly to avoid them being stolen.