Crime Stoppers Queensland are rolling into Mount Isa, working with the local community to prevent illicit firearms falling into the wrong hands.
Since Crime Stoppers partnered with the federal government to promote a permanent national firearms amnesty, 1197 firearms have been provenance checked and 28 are firearms of interest.
To support the amnesty Crimes Stoppers Queensland will be visiting Mount Isa on Friday, September 24 at Mount Isa Village (K-Mart Plaza).
Crime Stoppers say that while Australia has some of the toughest gun controls in the world, regional and rural property owners can be at an increased risk of their unsecured firearms being stolen and used in criminal activity.
Crime Stoppers Queensland CEO Carmen Jenkinson said she and a team of volunteers would be in Mount Isa and surrounding regions to educate regional Queenslanders about the risk.
"The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and by joining forces with the Mt Isa community and surrounding regional towns, we can all play our part in keeping our towns safe and reducing the risk of illicit weapons falling into the wrong hands," she said.
"Our message to Mount Isa residents is to keep your firearm licence current, ensure all of your firearms are registered and keep them securely stored."
In the 2021 year to date, Crime Stoppers Queensland has assisted Queensland Police to make 585 arrests and lay 3055 charges and seize $1.4m of drugs.
Australia has estimated 250,000 long arm and 10,000 handguns that are either unregistered or unable to be registered, as well as prohibited firearm accessories.
"Firearms are often kept in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or simply overlooked and forgotten in people's homes," Ms Jenkinson said.
"We have received great support from Queensland firearm dealers and sporting shooters who are helping to educate the public on handing in unwanted or unregistered firearms.
"Someone might have Grandad's old gun in the back shed, have received a gun from a friend or family member, or a firearm is legally registered but no longer needed."
The amnesty provides an opportunity to safely dispose of an unregistered firearm without cost or penalty.
Being caught with an unregistered or illegal firearm outside amnesty conditions could result in a fine of up to $66,725, up to 13 years in jail, and a criminal record.
Information about Queensland requirements, including how and where to surrender firearms, can be found at https://crimestoppers.com.au/firearmamnesty/qld/
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