Victorians in the state's west are being urged to hand in any unwanted, unregistered or illegal firearms over the next two months as part of an amnesty.
The amnesty follows an increase in firearm theft across western Victoria.
The amnesty, which kicks off on 1 November, allows members of the public to surrender firearms and weapons to police stations in 12 local government areas, including Horsham and Ararat, without fear of prosecution.
How to hand over your guns:
It's the first amnesty to be held in Victoria since the national amnesty in 2017, when more than 3400 items were handed into police stations and firearms dealers in Victoria Police's western region.
At Ararat over the past month five guns have been handed in to police.
Superintendent Paul Margetts said the community had until 31 December 2019 to present to police any illegal or unwanted firearms for them to be destroyed.
"There are currently more than 856,000 registered firearms across the state, but it's the unregistered firearms and dangerous weapons in the community that Victoria Police is constantly trying to reduce," Superintendent Margetts said.
"We've seen in previous amnesties a number of items voluntarily surrendered, included high-powered firearms, handguns, imitation firearms and air rifles.
"In our local area during this amnesty, Victorians will be able to anonymously surrender firearms to their local police station or a licensed firearms dealer.
"In Victoria, we know firearm theft, especially from rural properties, is a concern.
"Rural and regional property owners are at risk of firearm theft because of geographic isolation and extended absences from properties where firearms are stored.
"The majority of registered firearm owners are very responsible and treat firearms ownership with the seriousness that it deserves. License holders are required to use common sense to store their firearms safely and securely and in accordance with legislative requirements at all times.
"We are asking everyone to contribute to improving community safety by surrendering items that could pose a danger or before they fall into the wrong hands.
"As far as police are concerned, if just one illicit firearm or weapon is destroyed then that has made Victoria safer."
The amnesty will take place in Hindmarsh, Horsham, West Wimmera, Ararat, Northern Grampians, Yarriambiack, Greater Bendigo, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Loddon, Macedon Ranges and Mount Alexander municipalities.
People are encouraged to ring their local police station before bringing items in. All firearms must be wrapped in paper, plastic or cloth and transported to a police station in a safe and secure manner.
Anyone who has a registered firearm can hand the item to a Licensed Firearm Dealer at any time for sale or destruction.
The penalty for possessing an unregistered firearm starts from $19,800 or two years imprisonment.
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