South Australia Police and Crime Stoppers are encouraging people in the South East to help reduce the number of unwanted, unregistered, or illicit firearms in the community. A National Firearms Amnesty campaign was launched last week, with local police encouraging residents to take advantage of the amnesty and surrender firearms and parts without fear of penalty.
Limestone Coast Local Service Area Superintendent Campbell Hill said if people in the region had a firearm they no longer want or need, they can hand it into the local police station or participating licenced firearms dealer (there are seven in the South East).
“Whether it’s an inherited family heirloom, an old gun left in the back of the shed, received from a friend or family, or a firearm legally registered but no longer needed, they all remain a potential risk to community safety,” Superintendent Hill said. “The amnesty provides opportunity to safely dispose of a firearm without cost or penalty.”
Supt Hill said compensation was not offered for firearms surrendered through the amnesty, but people can remain anonymous when surrendering an unauthorised firearm or other unauthorised item for destruction. “The protection of the amnesty is only available if a person surrenders it to a police station or licensed firearms dealer,” he said. “The amnesty does not apply for persons who maintain possession of an unauthorised or illegal firearm or other item.
“Police will investigate any surrendered firearm recorded as stolen property or suspected of being involved in a crime. “Being caught with an unregistered firearm outside amnesty conditions could result in a fine of up to $35,000, up to seven years in jail, and a criminal record.”