Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has today urged anyone in the Cootamundra electorate with an unregistered or unwanted firearm to take advantage of the NSW Firearm Amnesty from July 1 to September 30, 2018.

Ms Cooke said that getting such firearms out of the community eliminates the risk of them falling into the wrong hands and, unthinkably, being used during a crime.

“Our police officers across the Cootamundra electorate do an exceptional job ensuring firearms are legally owned and kept under lock and key but they can’t be everywhere at once. This is an opportunity as a community to help them keep us safe and reinforce their hard work,” Ms Cooke said.

“I urge anybody who may have an unwanted firearm to support NSW Police in this important initiative and use the NSW Firearm Amnesty to help keep our communities safer,” she added.

Ms Cooke said last year’s National Firearm Amnesty was extremely successful, with the NSW Police Force netting nearly 25,000 firearms from 7,277 individuals during the three-month campaign.

“Cootamundra electorate residents have another chance to do the right thing and either surrender unwanted or prohibited weapons or become a responsible firearm owner and register their gun or rifle,” Ms Cooke said.

Minister for Police Troy Grant said there were clearly still firearms in the community that people no longer want or would like to register.

“Whether the firearm was inherited or found, the three-month amnesty period will allow them to come forward and legally dispose or register it without penalty,” said Mr Grant.

Deputy Commissioner Metropolitan Field Operations Jeff Loy said in 2017 nearly 8000 firearms were handed in for destruction – including 951 handguns and 5558 shotguns – about 15,000 handed in for registration and 2100 handed in for sale.

“This is another opportunity for people to get rid of any firearm or parts without the fear of prosecution,” Deputy Commissioner Loy said.

Deputy Commissioner Regional NSW Field Operations Gary Worboys said every firearm captured in the amnesty is one we previously knew nothing about and risked falling into the hands of criminal gangs or organised crime syndicates.

“I’d like to remind all those who own a firearm they have a legal obligation to ensure it is safely and securely stored at all times,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

Firearms and firearm-related items can be surrendered under amnesty arrangements at approved drop-off points, which include licensed firearm dealers, mobile stations, and police stations.

Under no circumstances should loaded firearms be taken into public places – including police stations.

Anyone with concerns about handling firearms or safely transporting them, can contact the NSW Police Force Firearms Registry on 1300 362 562 for assistance.

For more information visit www.police.nsw.gov.au.