80 weapons off the street

ALMOST 80 weapons and firearms have been taken off the region’s streets one month into a Victoria Police amnesty.

Victorian residents can hand in their firearms and weapons to any police station without being prosecuted during the amnesty, from October 1 until November 30.

One month in, 30 long-arm rifles and a knife were handed into Wangaratta police and Wodonga police received 10 long-arms, a hand gun, six lots of ammunition, a knife and a firecracker.

Beechworth collected two long-arms while Bright police were handed nine long-arm rifles.

Myrtleford police received one long-arm, one handgun and 10 knives.

Seven weapons, including a handgun, five long-arms and a bladed weapon, were handed in at the Benalla Police Station.

Eastern region’s firearms officer Leading Sen-Constable Andrew Auhl said it’s all about taking weapons and guns off the street.

“The best way to help protect the community and make it a safer place is to remove these weapons,” he said.

He said people often possessed firearms through deceased estates or have bought property and weapons or firearms were found lying around.

“They’re too afraid to ask us but it’s all about improving community safety and that’s why we like to get the message out there that they can surrender these illegal weapons without any fear of prosecution,” he said.

Sen-Constable Auhl said people should notify their local station before they come in to give up their guns or weapons.

He said people must go directly to the station, carrying the weapon or firearm in a safe and secure manner (gun bag, wrapped up in a blanket, in plastic or paper cloth).

Statewide, 1140 weapons and firearms have been handed in. During last year’s one month amnesty, police received between 2000 to 2500 firearms and weapons.

Weapons and guns are taken to Melbourne to be destroyed unless they have heritage value. Antique items are given to museums.

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