80 guns handed into local police stations during amnesty

AMNESTY: A few of the guns handed into Gatton police as a part of the national gun amnesty which concluded on September 30.
AMNESTY: A few of the guns handed into Gatton police as a part of the national gun amnesty which concluded on September 30. Contributed

LOCAL police stations received 80 unlicensed, unregistered or unwanted firearms during the three month long national gun amnesty, which came to an end on September 30.

Gatton police took in 47 guns while 33 were handed in to Laidley police to join the 16,126 firearms surrendered by people across the country.

Officer in Charge of Gatton police Senior Sergeant Rowland Browne said the large number of guns handed to his station was positive for the community.

"The Lockyer Valley has a high level of gun ownership so the numbers do not surprise me,” Snr Sgt Browne said.

"There is now (close to a hundred) guns less that can fall into criminal hands and that the former owners do not have to worry about.

"Mainly it was rifles and long arms but a good mix from very good condition to inoperable.

"There were a couple of very small revolvers handed in, probably ex-WWII weapons, but that were in good order and easily concealed.”

Snr Sgt Browne said the vast majority of guns are dutifully held under license by their owners and the period was predominantly a way to offload unwanted guns that are at risk of falling into the wrong hands.

"The reality is that guns can kill people, whether it be through crime, accidents or suicide and if there are guns that serve no purpose this is the time to dispose of them,” he said.

"Certain criminals will always try to have guns but limiting the opportunity makes it harder for them to steal or otherwise get them.

"A regular amnesty such as this is always helpful.”

Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan deemed the amnesty a success.

"The quantity of firearms surrendered has been very positive,” Mr Ryan said.

"It has shown Queenslanders want our state to be a safe place.

"Reducing unregistered firearms improves public safety.”

Topics:  gatton gun amensty laidley lockyer valley

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