Across the Southern Region, it is common for property owners to have firearms in their possession. Many people also enjoy recreational and sports shooting. Although most gun owners are very responsible and comply with all legislative procedures, it is crucial that maximum security efforts are employed to ensure firearms do not find their way into the wrong hands.
In 2016, a number of firearms and parts were stolen from various properties across Queensland. The majority of these were compliant with regards to legislative requirements, however many were accessed by stealing either the whole gun safe or broken into with tools located in the immediate vicinity of the safes.
Officer in Charge of Dalby Police Station, Senior Sergeant Terry McCullough said it was better to be overly cautious.
“It is in the best interests of shooters to go the extra yard and get a good quality safe. Put it somewhere out of the way of prying eyes. This will protect the future of gun ownership rights.”
Some simple steps that gun owners can take to ensure their firearms are not stolen are:
- Ensure that your safe is compliant with the Queensland legislative requirements.
- Store ammunition in a separate, locked container well away from your safe.
- Don’t leave keys or safe codes anywhere that could be easily accessed by intruders.
- Store all firearms in a locked, compliant container when not being used or carried.
- Keep safes out of sight and not in places that could be easily accessed by intruders, for example, unlocked garages or sheds.
- Don’t store firearms where offenders can readily access tools or other implements to force open safes, for example, in sheds with power tools.
- Consider CCTV over your safe so police are more easily able to identify offenders committing these crimes.
- If you are leaving your property, be aware of who you tell and what is posted on social media as to your whereabouts. If it is seen that you are away from your property for long periods, people may take advantage of your absence.
Remember, persons who possess weapons are to ensure all reasonable precautions are followed to ensure its safe storage, that it is not lost or stolen and that it does not come into possession of an unauthorised person. Penalties of up to a $10,000 fine or two years imprisonment apply under section 60 of the Weapons Act 1990 (QLD) and convictions for weapons offences may have you disqualified from holding a firearms licence for 5 years.
For more information click here or call Weapons Licensing on (07) 3015 7777
To anonymously report illegal firearms please phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
If a crime is happening now, please call Triple Zero (000). For non-urgent reporting, phone Policelink on 131 444.