Gun safety bolstered with amnesty

12th July 2017 3:00 PM
Sergeant Tim Dachs wants Stanthorpe residents to make the most of the current gun amnesty. ACT NOW: Sergeant Tim Dachs wants Stanthorpe residents to make the most of the current gun amnesty. Liana Turner

STANTHORPE police have urged residents to take advantage of a three-month Federal Government gun amnesty.

Sergeant Tim Dachs said while this wasn't a firearms buyback scheme like the one undertaken by the Howard Government in 1996 and 1997, it was a great chance for people to register or safely dispose of firearms which were currently held illegally with no ramifications.

"I think there'd be a few people out there who still have firearms they haven't registered,” Sgt Dachs said.

"We've had a couple handed in here so far.”

He said gun owners could have A or B class firearms registered, or dispose of those that were banned.

"Quite a few people, when they're cleaning out a deceased estate, often find unregistered firearms,” Sgt Dachs said.

"This is their chance to hand them in now without anything happening.”

The National Firearms Amnesty will operate for three months until Saturday, September 30.

Any person with unregistered firearms will have the chance to register them or surrender guns for sale, safekeeping or destruction without penalty.

During the firearms amnesty, the cost of registering a firearm will be waived, so anyone wishing to register unregistered firearms will not be charged any permit fee.

Those surrendering firearms are encouraged to do so at a firearms dealer, rather than the police station.

John Vichie Firearms owner John Vichie said a few people had already surrendered or registered firearms through his store at 24 Matthew St, Stanthorpe.

"There's a couple of people who have taken advantage of (the amnesty),” Mr Vichie said.

"Certainly, I think it's an ideal opportunity.

"A lot of people might find guns in a shed... when they've bought properties.”

While appointments aren't necessary at the store, he said people taking firearms in could also phone ahead. His store is open from 8.30am-5pm weekdays and 8.30am-noon Saturdays.

Contact the Firearms Amnesty at firearms- amnesty@police.qld.gov.au or by phoning 1800909826 9am-4pm weekdays.