Firearms amnesty reaps in the numbers

Grant Coppinger with some of the rifles that have been handed in. Photo: Joe Mastroianni

More than 260 firearms have been surrendered in Melbourne’s north-west in the first two months of a firearms amnesty.

Since the National Firearms Amnesty started on July 1, Victorians have turned in 2150 rifles, shotguns and handguns, on top of a number of bladed weapons, imitation firearms and ammunition.

Melbourne’s north-west, stretching from the CBD out to Whittlesea, accounts for 269 of those firearms.

Sunbury Firearm Supplies licensee holder Grant Coppinger said the shop had collected “probably a dozen [firearms] a week since the amnesty started”.

Mr Coppinger said he wasn’t surprised by the number of guns being turned in, with most being “old farm guns” that had likely been inherited.

Victoria Police licensing and regulation division superintendent Paul Millett said that so far, Victoria’s amnesty results were the most pleasing in a decade.

“These results are very encouraging,” he said. “This is more than 2000 firearms that would otherwise be at great risk of ending up in the wrong hands.” Superintendent Millett is encouraging people to continue to surrender unregistered firearms in the last month of the amnesty.

Firearms, weapons and ammunition can be surrendered to a licensed firearms dealer without fear of prosecution until September 30.

Mr Coppinger said handing in firearms was a simple process, with no questions asked.

“It’s a complete amnesty,” he said. “So it’s pretty much just walk in, place a gun on the counter and walk out.”

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