Firearms off the streets
POLICE say the streets of Tweed are safer after 67 illegal weapons were surrendered during a recent amnesty on firearms.
Inspector Darren Steel of Tweed/Byron Police has praised the efforts of Tweed residents who handed in the weapons to Tweed Heads, Murwillumbah and Kingscliff police stations.
The state-wide amnesty which began on March 1 and ended last Sunday was aimed at getting people to hand in their unregistered firearms, including imitations and rep- licas, firearm barrels, ammunition, magazines and silencers, to police.
Those who did could remain anonymous and would not be fined or charged.
“It's a community safety issue,” Insp Steel said.
“We are pleased to see firearms taken off the streets.
“They have been properly disposed of by handing them into police rather than any other form of disposal.”
Insp Steel said the guns were predominantly rifles, and no “unusual” weapons had been received.
He said the weapons collected had been sent to the weap- ons disposal unit where they would be dismantled.
The wood from the rifle butts will be burnt and the metal melted down.
When the gun amnesty was coming to an end, NSW Police Minister Tony Kelly said the amnesty would be followed by a blitz on gun owners to ensure their firearms are registered and secured safely.
The final figures are still to be released, but NSW police have received more than 3300 firearms, 75 replica firearms, 777 pieces of ammunition, 157 firearms parts, 112 telescopic sites and 66 other prohibited items including knives, silencers and crossbows.
“It is clear the majority of gun owners are getting the message - you either own a firearm lawfully or you won't own one at all,” Mr Kelly said.
“Owning a firearm is a privilege, not a right, and we want to make sure all gun owners got that message.”
In August last year there were 1359 licensed firearm-holders living on the Tweed and 4919 registered guns.
This meant that at the time, there was one registered gun for every 16 residents.