South-west police are urging firearm owners to check their existing storage arrangements ahead of new minimum standards.
From August 30, all licensed firearm owners must store their firearms in a steel container that is at least 1.6mm thick, purpose built and has a sturdy lock.
If less than 150 kilograms when empty, the unit must be bolted to the structure of the premises.
Many licensed owners will already have storage facilities that meet the new minimum standards being introduced.
But Warrnambool police acting divisional firearms officer Leading Senior Constable Mal Agnew said those currently storing their firearms in bolted clothing lockers or hardwood safes would need to urgently begin making plans to upgrade.
"Lots of people already have the old clothing lockers or similar and while they're legal at the moment, they're not going to cut it once these new standards are introduced," he said.
"While August 30 may still seem a while away, our message to those with soon to be outdated gun safes is clear - do not wait."
Leading Senior Constable Agnew said a common mistake made by licensed holders was storing ammunition in the same location as firearms.
He said cartridge ammunition must be stored in a locked container separate from guns.
Warrnambool police Senior Sergeant Brett Jackson said those seeking to become firearm license holders for the first time would also need to be across the changes.
"If you don't make an effort to upgrade your storage, you may be a sitting duck for opportunistic thieves," he said.
The new standards will bring the storage of category A and B longarms into line with current requirements for category C, D, and general category handguns.
Police last month seized 24 firearms in the south-west's largest firearm-focused operation in history.
Dozens of raids were executed in relation to the possession of illicit firearms and those subjected to Firearm Prohibition Orders, while over 75 checks were conducted in relation to licensed firearm holders.
Of those checks, six people were issued with notices to improve storage.
Senior Sergeant Jackson said police were committed to working alongside the community to ensure firearms weren't falling into the hands of thieves on the lookout for weapons to commit further serious crimes.
"Divisional firearm officers will be regularly carrying out inspections to ensure licensed owners are complying with the new regulations," he said.
"Due to the number of people needing to upgrade their storage, we are anticipating there may be a degree of pressure placed on gun safe manufacturers, so our advice is to act today."
Senior Sergeant Jackson said if upgrades to storage don't arrive before the end of August, firearm officers would show discretion if licence holders could show they'd made a genuine effort to source the necessary safe.
"Ultimately, the new firearm storage requirements are a positive for license holders and the wider community," he said.
"They will ensure licensed firearms are stored as safely as possible, lessening the chance of them being stolen and being used in further violent offending."
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