A double murder/suicide in Kirkstall less than a fortnight ago has highlighted the issues of firearm controls.
It's been confirmed that Travis Cashmore, 45, who gunned down career criminal Kevin Knowles, 49, and his sidekick Benny Ray, 48, on Friday, July 22, at Kirkstall was not a licensed gun owner and it is not known where the shotgun came from.
After the shooting at 10.20am Cashmore then went back to his Chamberlain Street home and took his own life.
Shotguns, particularly sawn-off shotguns, have become the weapon of choice for offenders because the ballistics from shotguns are much harder to trace.
It's expected that a state coroner will examine the unanswered questions in cooperation with police.
A Victoria Police media liaison spokeswoman said no comment would be provided about Cashmore's gun licence status as the matter was before the coroner.
At the end of March this year Warrnambool district police arrested and charged nine people and seized 24 firearms as part of a five-day operation targeting illicit firearms and firearms storage compliance across the region.
The operation focused on Firearms Prohibition Order enforcement and firearms storage compliance.
Nine FPO search warrants, six non-FPO search warrants and 75 firearms storage compliance checks linked to intelligence relating to illicit firearms, drugs and other offending were conducted between Saturday, March 19, and Thursday, March 24.
Knowles was arrested at a Kirkstall address and charged with possessing steroids, cannabis and testosterone and outstanding intervention order matters.
He was bailed to appear in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on July 25.
At that time Warrnambool Inspector Josh Tink said Firearm Prohibition Orders were an integral enforcement tool that provided police with specific powers to proactively respond to, disrupt and prevent firearm-related crime in Victoria and keep the community safe.
He said police had absolutely no hesitation in seizing illicit firearms or firearm-related material and putting offenders before a court.
"Unsecured firearms are sitting ducks for serious criminals, and we will continue to regularly check how owners are storing their firearms to make sure they don't fall into the wrong hands," he said.
"We will continue to run similar operations to seize firearms and other weapons from violent and dangerous people, as well as negligent firearm owners, to ensure the safety of south western Victorians."
On Tuesday Western region police firearms officer Senior Constable Malcolm Agnew urged all current firearm owners to check their existing storage arrangements met new firearm storage minimum standards set to be enforced from the end of this month.
From August 30, all licensed firearm owners, including Category A and B, must store their firearms in storage units made of steel at least 1.6mm thick that is purpose built, has a sturdy lock and if less than 150 kilograms when empty must be bolted to the structure of the premises.
He said many licensed owners would already have storage facilities that met the new minimum standards.
However, those currently storing their firearms in bolted clothing lockers or hardwood safes will need to urgently begin making plans to upgrade.
"Those seeking to become firearm licence holders for the first time will also need to be across these changes and ensure they are storing their firearms legally," Senior Constable Agnew said.
"Police are committed to working alongside firearm owners to ensure their storage is upgraded so firearms aren't falling into the hands of thieves on the lookout for weapons to aid further serious criminal offending."
Divisional firearm officers regularly carry out inspections to ensure licensed owners are complying with the new regulations.
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