From Superintendent Russell Barrett, Victoria Police Licensing and Regulation Services Division:
October is Community Safety Month, where every year, Victorians have a chance to take part in local activities and events and learn about making our community a safer place to live and work.
This year, October also provides Victorians with an opportunity to hand in any unwanted or illegal firearms and weapons without fear of prosecution.
This action will no doubt make our local communities safer.
During October and November as part of a state-wide amnesty, Victoria Police is urging members of the public to voluntarily surrender firearms, knives and any other weapons.
No questions asked — we just want them off our streets.
In past amnesties we’ve seen machetes, swords, handguns and air rifles handed in.
We’ve seen hunting knives, butcher knives and flick knives surrendered.
We’ve seen other weapons such as laser pointers and imitation firearms — those that aren’t so obviously a prohibited weapon.
And we’ve seen cases of items being found in back sheds that are no longer needed but which could pose a threat in the wrong hands — like antique firearms.
But these are all potentially dangerous.
Victorians have until November 30 to present to police any illegal or unwanted weapons and firearms for them to be destroyed.
The process can be an anonymous one so we strongly encourage anyone with these types of weapons to dispose of them safely during the amnesty period.
People are encouraged to phone their local police station before taking items in.
All weapons must be wrapped in paper, plastic or cloth and transported to a police station in a safe and secure manner.
This is about giving people the opportunity to make the right choice and hand them in, no questions asked, or face the prospect of harsh penalties — up to two years imprisonment for carrying weapons, or up to 10 years for firearms offences.
It’s also about making a choice to make our community safer.
For more information on the Firearms and Weapons Amnesty visit www.police.vic.gov.au/weaponsamnesty