QUEENSLAND firearm owners have until May 1 to hand in unregistered or illegal firearms to Queensland Police.
Crime Stoppers Queensland CEO, Trevor O’Hara, is urging Queenslanders in possession of an illegal or unregistered firearm to take advantage of the state-wide amnesty period while they have the chance.
“From May 1 we’ll be calling on Queenslanders to anonymously come forward with any information they may have about an illegal or unregistered firearm. The onus will turn to the community to get illegal firearms off Queensland streets,” Mr O’Hara said.
“If people don’t use the amnesty period to hand in their illegal firearms we can assume they have no intention of ever registering it or handing it in. Therefore, the chance of that firearm being involved in a terrible crime will always exist.
“Any anonymous information we receive will help take illegal firearms out of circulation and harm’s way,” Mr O’Hara said.
Queensland Police Service State Crime Operations Command Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon noted that as of May 1 Queensland firearm owners caught in possession of an unregistered or illegal gun will serve a mandatory minimum term of one year in custody.
“The new laws in effect next month adopt a zero tolerance policy on illegal firearm use. Our message to anyone in possession of an illegal firearm is to act now while no penalties apply,” Mr Condon said.
Mr O’Hara said it is simple for citizens to remove the threat of an illegal firearm anonymously.
“Pick up the phone, tell us about a gun and hang up,” he concluded.
With less three weeks of the three month amnesty period remaining, more than 4074 firearms have been surrendered. To date three stolen firearms have been recovered and 786 will be destroyed.
New Firearm laws effective May 1, 2013:
• An offender convicted of trafficking illegal firearms will serve a mandatory minimum term of five years in custody
• An offender convicted of supplying illegal firearms will serve a mandatory minimum term of three years in custody
• An offender convicted of possessing an illegal firearm that is used in the commission of an indictable offence will serve a mandatory minimum term of 18 months in custody
• An offender who unlawfully possesses an illegal firearm for the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of an indictable offence will serve a mandatory minimum term of one year in custody
• An offender convicted of possessing an illegal firearm in a public place will serve a mandatory minimum term of one year in custody
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