Broome residents urged to hand in unwanted and unregistered firearms
Published on 03 August 2021
To help reduce the number of unwanted, unregistered, or illicit firearms in the community, Crime Stoppers WA is urging people living in and around the Kimberley region to take advantage of a national amnesty to surrender firearms and parts without fear of penalty.
To help spread the word, Crime Stoppers WA is partnering with Broome police to help promote the amnesty, answer questions from the community and explain how and where to safely dispose of a firearm.
Crime Stoppers WA CEO Dr Vince Hughes said an estimated 250,000 long arm and 10,000 handguns were believed to be in Australia which are either unregistered or unable to be registered, as well as prohibited accessories such as silencers and ammunition.
“The focus of the national amnesty is to reduce the number of unwanted, unregistered and illicit firearms in the community by encouraging people to do their bit by handing in a firearm so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and be used to injure or kill someone,” Dr Hughes said.
Grey market firearms - those that should have already been handed in or registered - are not typically kept by people with any criminal intent but the concern with these firearms is that they can end up in the hands of people who plan to use them for criminal purposes.
Broome District Police Acting Superintendent Rohan Ingles said “the added challenge that comes with grey market firearms is that when they become lost or stolen an owner is less likely to report this to police, for fear of being prosecuted for having an unregistered firearm to begin with”.
“Handing it in for destruction removes that burden,” he added.
“This is your opportunity to become a safe, legal owner of firearms by registering them now. If you no longer have a need for a firearm, this is also your opportunity to hand it in to your local police station.”
The amnesty also provides opportunity for people to register their firearm or apply for an appropriate licence.
Crime Stoppers conducted a national firearm amnesty in 2017 which resulted in 57,324 firearms being handed in along with 2,432 parts and accessories and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition.
During that campaign, several machine guns were handed in including a WWII Sten and a Russian-made sub-machine gun, as well as a flare gun converted to shoot 12-gauge ammunition, rocket launcher and an anti-tank bolt action rifle.
Being caught with an unregistered or illegal firearm outside amnesty conditions could result in a fine of up to $280,000, up to 14 years in jail, and a criminal record.
Further information about how and where to surrender firearms can be found at www.crimestoppers.com.au.