No questions asked — just lay down your arms and surrender

A MEDIEVAL-STYLE battle axe and mace were among 28 weapons handed into Warrnambool police during the first month of a statewide weapons amnesty.

A samurai sword, machete, crossbow and imitation handgun have also been handed in, along with 17 firearms.

Warrnambool policewoman Acting Senior Sergeant Tania Barbary said the two-month amnesty allowed members of the public to surrender firearms and weapons to police stations without fear of prosecution.

She encouraged anyone with weapons to contact the station before bringing them in so they could be advised on how to best transport their weapons safely and securely.

Across Victoria 1140 unwanted or illegal firearms and weapons have been handed over, including a homemade handgun and a .22 calibre rifle modified to have the appearance of an M16 rifle.

Head of the Victoria Police Licensing and Regulation Division, Superintendent Russell Barrett, said the results were still coming in but police were pleased with the response so far to the first amnesty held in Victoria since April 2010.

“As a community we’re getting these weapons off our streets,” Super­intendent Barrett said.

“We know they’re out there and they shouldn’t be — whether it’s an item that is no longer wanted like an antique firearm or something that has been handmade, like an improvised weapon.”

People have until November 30 to present to police any illegal or unwanted weapons and firearms for destruction.

All weapons must be wrapped in paper, plastic or cloth and transported to a police station in a safe and secure manner.

The penalty for carrying an illegal weapon is up to two years imprisonment, or up to 10 years for firearms offences.

cquirk@standard.fairfax.com.au

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