26 September 2023

Firearms have last shots at the melting pot

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More than three tonnes of firearms are to be destroyed this month after they were seized and gathered by police across the State.

Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the haul of 2,809 firearms (totalling 3,228kg) came into police possession after being seized through criminal investigations, located at abandoned property, and surrendered.

Commissioner Webb said among the items to be destroyed were pistols, rifles, shotguns, military firearms, home-made firearms, airsoft, gel blasters, air pistols and air rifles.

She said the firearms would be melted down into steel and produced into other items.

“We’ve all seen the harm that is caused by the unlawful use of firearms and the fear it can cause within the broader community,” Commissioner Webb said.

“Some of these items are collected through long term, complex criminal investigations and others are located through isolated search warrants and police incidents,” she said.

“By destroying these weapons, we prevent any that are kept for legitimate purposes falling into the wrong hands and used in other crimes.”

Commissioner Webb said a number of the weapons were seized during police operations in recent months, including 84 taken by anti-gang Strike Force Hawke, and further weapons taken by Strike Force Erebus.

“The message is very strong that these criminal networks if you are holding an illegal firearm, our police will continue to be out there to seize them and to take them from you,” she said.

“We’ve got strong gun and firearm legislation in New South Wales that restricts the use to licensed holders,” the Commissioner said.

“But when it falls into the wrong hands or has to be surrendered, then people are able to surrender their firearms no questions asked.”

She said a firearm amnesty, in place since July last year, had assisted in allowing people to surrender firearms “no questions asked.”

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