Albury police pleased with explosives amnesty, as firearms program continues

OPPORTUNITY: About 200 firearms have been handed in to Bluey's Hunting and Fishing in Wodonga during the national amnesty and Rob Williams hopes more will be surrendered before it ends. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS
OPPORTUNITY: About 200 firearms have been handed in to Bluey's Hunting and Fishing in Wodonga during the national amnesty and Rob Williams hopes more will be surrendered before it ends. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

Albury Police are pleased with the outcome of the statewide commercial explosives amnesty and encourage residents to make the most of the remaining fortnight of the national program for firearms.

Since March 15, NSW residents have been able to legally and safely surrender explosives to police.

The amnesty ended on Thursday and Albury Licensing Sergeant Steve McCaig said he was happy with the response across the local area command.

“We have had detonators surrendered and our bomb and rescue squad have seized those items,” he said.

“A lot of the detonators are very old and they come into the public attention through cleaning out a house or maybe a deceased estate – these items are found and people aren’t sure what to do, so it’s great people call police and we can arrange for the appropriate experts to deal with them.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to surrender those items.”

The national firearms amnesty has been running alongside the NSW program since the beginning of July and continues until September 30.

Sergeant McCaig said “several hundred” weapons had either been registered or surrendered to police via the collection points across town.

“Generally they’ve been very old firearms that have been left in a shed or passed down through generations; we have had some prohibited firearms like pump-action shotguns handed in, so that’s a really good result – we want firearms off the streets,” he said.

“One thing many members of the public don’t know is when someone dies and that person has firearms, they have six months to do something about those firearms.

“It’s probably the last thing on their mind, but it is a very common theme.”

On the other side of the Border, inherited guns have also been common.

Bluey's Hunting and Fishing in Wodonga is among the amnesty collection points and manager Luke Williams said of about 200 firearms handed in, about half were surrendered.

“It’s mostly old air rifles and shotguns and .22s, some more than 100 years old,” he said.

“For some people it’s a bit of a relief to get rid of them finally and a lot have been found and they belonged to older relatives who passed away.

“The ones that are rubbish go get destroyed and those that are decent, if they have a firearms licence, they can get a permit and get it registered.

“It’s a good opportunity to get them out of the house.”