Warrnambool weapons surrender rate state's second highest

WARRNAMBOOL police collected the second highest number of unwanted or illegal firearms and weapons in Victoria during a statewide amnesty.

During the past two months 87 firearms and weapons were surrendered in Warrnambool, with about 2500 handed in across the state.

Warrnambool’s Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh said it was a fantastic effort by the community.

“Just to have one taken off the street is good, let alone 87,” he said, attributing the success to partnerships with local media.

Senior Sergeant Keogh said police would continue to welcome community members handing in unwanted or illegal firearms and weapons.

“If people do come and hand it in we will take it for what it is,” he said.

Among the weapons received by Warrnambool police during the amnesty were a medieval-style battleaxe, a mace, a samurai sword, machete, crossbow and imitation handgun. Bendigo police took possession of the highest number, with 164 unwanted or illegal firearms and weapons surrendered, while there were 65 in Frankston and 58 in Warragul.

All of the weapons will be destroyed.

Licensing and Regulation Division Superintendent Russell Barrett said Victoria Police was pleased with the response to the amnesty.

“Whether it was a forgotten firearm in the shed or a handmade knife, they are no longer in our community,” he said.

The two-month amnesty was the first to be held in Victoria since April 2010.

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

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