POLICE in South Gippsland have identified that some firearm owners may not be storing their firearms in proper storage facilities.
The police plan to crack down. Random storage inspections will be carried out on firearm owners, and those who ‘fail’ the inspection may face charges and have their firearms seized.
A spate of firearm thefts throughout South Gippsland has identified the problem that it is too easy for criminals to access unsecured firearms.
The Firearms Act requires that when firearms are not being used, they must be locked away and secured properly. This means they must be in a receptacle that is strong and not easily penetrable and it must have locks of sturdy construction. The firearm safe must also be bolted to the floor or wall of the premises where the firearms are stored.
Easter Region Division 5 Firearms Officer, Leading Senior Constable Ian Miles, said: “All firearm owners need to take their responsibilities seriously and get proper and secure storage. In this day and age, the ‘old school lockers’ are not good enough as they can be broken into without effort.”
Firearm safes, whether store bought or homemade, should be installed to keep the firearms out of reach of criminals.
“Those firearm owners not prepared to make these efforts should consider disposing of their firearms through a dealer or surrendering them to a police station for destruction,” Leading Senior Constable Miles said.
Anyone with inquiries can contact the Divisional Firearms Officer on 5131 5072.