SOUTH-WEST firearm owners have again been warned about correct storage of guns after continued inspections across the state.
More than 60 licensed firearm owners across the inner Melbourne north-west received visits from police on Saturday, as part of an operation targeting breaches of firearm storage compliance.
Police from north-west metro region and the licensing & regulation division knocked on the doors of 62 premises in northern and western suburbs to ensure that owners were correctly storing their firearms.
Detective Superintendent Alan Byrnes said that nearly one in five gun owners were found to be breaching storage requirements.
“While the majority of licensed firearm owners were found to be correctly storing their firearms, we detected 14 breaches, which is unacceptable,” Mr Byrnes said.
“We found one owner’s firearm unsecured hidden in a duct, while another owner could not account for missing firearms,” he said.
South-west farms have been the target of gun thieves in the past couple of years which has led to a campaign of firearm inspections by police.
Just last week a Nirranda gun owner was charged with failing to secure his firearm after it was stolen and then later recovered by police when they raided a property in Geelong.
Mr Byrnes said police seized 14 firearms and a crossbow which were found to be stored unsatisfactorily in Saturday’s inspections.
“There have been several instances this year where properties have been burgled and firearms stolen from licensed firearm holders, so owners need to take responsibility and comply with the requirements,” he said.
“Anyone found to be not complying with firearm storage requirements can expect to incur fines, have the firearm seized or become subject to a police investigation.
“We will continue these routine checks to reduce the risk of criminal access to licensed firearms.”