West Australians are being called on to hand in unlicensed firearms in a gun amnesty that will protect gun owners from charges or fines.

WA police mismanagement prompts gun amnesty


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The poor firearms management by West Australian police identifiedby the WA auditor-general recently has prompted a state-wide gun amnesty.

AG Colin Murphy, who damned police as “unable to effectivelymanage firearms licensing and regulation” also identified nearly 1000 guns fromdeceased estates that were not accounted for.

Now WA Police Minister Liza Harvey and Commissioner Karl O’Callaghanare asking people who may have those guns to hand them in under a state-widegun amnesty.

The amnesty, which allows for illegally owned firearms to behanded in without penalty, will run until October 31.

“There are about 1000 firearms that are subject to deceasedestates – we encourage all of those people to hand those guns into police,” MsHarvey said in a newspaper report.

“The usual penalty is $12,000 or 3 years in prison for thepossession of unlicensed firearms. Between now and October 31 there will be anamnesty from any prosecution.”

Just how successful the amnesty will be remains to be seen. Thelast amnesty, held in 2006, netted just 150 unregistered firearms from deceasedestates back to 1983.

Ms Harvey also revealed that the massive price hikes in gunowner license fees was to pay for a new computer system to manage theirlicences.

“The people who are using the system are thepeople who will be paying for the system,” Ms Harvey said.


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Justin Law

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