MORE than 50 firearms, including a shortened firearm and rifles, have been surrendered to Oxley police in just five days.
And dozens more of unregistered firearms have been taken to dealers and registered as locals take advantage of the three-month national amnesty, which started last week.
In Tamworth alone, 25 guns have been handed in with the rest surrendered in Gunnedah and outlying towns – the very command that boasts the highest number of registered firearms in the country.
“This is fantastic, it shows there are unacceptable levels of firearms that aren’t registered in the community, or aren’t stored properly and are accessible to the wrong people,” Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd told The Leader.
“This is fantastic, it shows there are unacceptable levels of firearms that aren’t registered in the community, or aren’t stored properly and are accessible to the wrong people."
“And history shows that these firearms that are in these homes are taken easily and fall into the wrong hands.
“We would encourage members of our community to hand in these firearms or do the right thing and have them registered because if something goes wrong with a firearm in their possession, which is used in any circumstance, they will have to live with the consequences.”
Most of them are old grandfathers’ guns or old firearms that have been locked in a shed or under the bed.
Licensed firearms dealer Calibre Country’s Jodie Mearns said they had seen a revolving door of people looking to register old firearms, with about a dozen inquiries taken each day.
“Most of them are old grandfathers’ guns or old firearms that have been locked in a shed or under the bed,” she said.
Unregistered guns can be taken to licensed firearms dealers who will enter them into a national system and register them, otherwise they can be surrendered unconditionally to police.
“It is quite an easy process to register an unregistered firearm and that’s worked well for a lot of people already,” Mrs Mearns said.
“We just want people to know they can book in and come in and see us and there is no repercussions if they register these firearms.”
The amnesty runs until September 30 with locals walking in daily to hand in old firearms. But there is a word of warning for those already doing the wrong thing.
“We have already had a report of people seeking to buy unregistered firearms who are not accredited dealers,” Acting Superintendent Budd said.
“If you are caught supplying firearms for cash, we will charge you and put you before the court, because regardless of the amnesty, selling or supplying firearms is an offence.”