The Department of Home Affairs has entered a partnership with Crime Stoppers Australia to launch a permanent national firearms amnesty, allowing people to hand in unregistered or unwanted firearms, without a penalty.
Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Jason Wood said the amnesty, which began on 1 July, sought to reduce the threat unregistered firearms posed to the community.
“They are difficult to trace and can fall into the hands of criminals to commit terrible crimes while avoiding police detection,” Mr Wood said.
“An unwanted firearm can also be deadly,” he said.
“If not properly stored, there is always a risk that it could harm you or your loved ones.”
Mr Wood said people who had an unregistered firearm or firearm-related item could surrender it to a police station anonymously, without penalty, for registration, sale or destruction.
The Assistant Minister said licensed firearms dealers could also receive surrendered firearms in most States and Territories.
“If you have an unregistered firearm and you want to keep it, hand it in and see if you can register it,” he said.
“If you don’t want to keep your firearm, hand it in.”
Mr Wood said if a person didn’t surrender an unregistered firearm and was found in possession of it, they could face criminal penalties, including imprisonment.
Chair of Crime Stoppers Australia, Diana Forrester said the Service had launched a National Illicit Firearms Campaign to support the commencement of the amnesty and would deliver 65 grassroots community events in the coming months to encourage people to do the right thing and hand in unwanted or unregistered firearms.
Further information on the amnesty, including the process to surrender a firearm in each State or Territory, can be accessed on Crime Stoppers’ website at this PS News link.