Amnesty shows Coffs/Clarence keen to offload guns

DON'T SHOOT: Close to 10,000 firearms and firearm-related items were handed in across NSW.
DON'T SHOOT: Close to 10,000 firearms and firearm-related items were handed in across NSW. NSW Police Force

ASSAULT rifles, sub-machine guns, magnum revolvers and samurai swords are among nearly 10,000 items surrendered in NSW during the country's first national firearms amnesty in twenty years.

Of the firearms and firearm-related items handed to police and dealers over the three months ending September 30, 240 were surrendered from across the Coffs/Clarence region.

That number puts the local area command at 12th place on a list of 76 local area commands.

Interestingly, nine of the top ten LACs to receive the most surrendered firearms, firearm-related items and prohibited weapons were in areas outside of metropolitan Sydney.

Oxley LAC topped the list with 1322 items - with just one person there handing in 987 firearm barrels.

NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Regional Field Operations Gary Worboys said the response from the community was overwhelming, especially in regional areas.

"It's extremely encouraging to see community members recognising the danger posed by these weapons and doing the right thing by handing them in or having them registered," Dept Commissioner Worboys said.

"There has been a really strong response across the state which means there are now fewer unwanted or unregistered guns on our streets.”

Dept Commissioner Metropolitan Field Operations Jeff Loy said gun crime affected everyone.

"In the wrong-hands, guns are a lethal weapon so it's pleasing to see people are keen to do the right thing and have used the opportunity to dispose of firearms and other weapons to ensure they don't end up in the wrong hands," he said.

Surrendered items included 20 SKS assault rifles, eight M1 carbine military self-loading rifles, four sub-machine guns, a Colt AR-15 rifle, a .44 calibre magnum revolver, an Adler 110 shotgun, and a Mauser model 1918 T-Gewehr-Bolt Action anti-tank rifle.

"It's concerning these high-powered weapons and modified guns were in our community but they have now been destroyed under amnesty arrangements," Deputy Commissioner Loy said.

Under the amnesty 130 prohibited weapons including 14 crossbows, 27 suppressors, samurai swords, knives, and other edged weapons were also handed in.

Anyone with information concerning gun crime in NSW should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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