Sawn-off shotguns, rifles, axes, knives, swords and even maces – all of these weapons can be handed into a police station today “no questions asked”.
A statewide firearms and weapons amnesty will take effect from today and will run through to November 30, in a bid to get dangerous weapons off Victoria’s streets.
In Ballarat, police are urging residents to hand over any unregistered or illegal guns and other weapons during the two-month period to avoid any criminal proceedings taking place against them.
Ballarat Police Senior Sergeant Neale Robinson said all types of weapons would be accepted at police stations around the region during the amnesty.
He said members of the public could surrender their unwanted or illegal firearms, knives or swords “without fear of prosecution”.
“All weapons must be wrapped in paper, plastic or cloth prior to disposal to ensure the process is as safe as possible,” Senior Sergeant Robinson said.
“Weapons must be transported in a manner that is safe and secure and conveyed from the place of storage to a police station by the most direct and practical route.”
Senior Sergeant Robinson said despite the open invitation, arriving at local police stations with illegal weapons unannounced was not recommended.
“People are encouraged to ring the police station before bringing items in,” he said.
Firearm Traders Association secretary Graeme Forbes said he supported the amnesty announcement, which would help take illegal firearms off the street.
Mr Forbes said most gun shops already took several unregistered guns under amnesty every week.
He said people could hand over their unregistered firearms to the police or a licensed firearms dealer without being prosecuted.
“If you take in an unregistered firearm you will not be prosecuted, but if police search your property and find an unregistered firearm, you will be prosecuted,” he said.
To call the Ballarat Police Station about surrendering unwanted or illegal firearms or weapons during the amnesty, call 5336 6000.
Visit http://www.police.vic.gov.au/weaponsamnesty for information on the amnesty, weapon types and licensing requirements in Victoria.