VICTORIANS in the north-west have been urged to hand in any unwanted, unregistered or illegal firearms throughout November as part of an amnesty.

The amnesty allows members of the public to surrender firearms and weapons to a licensed firearm dealer or police stations at Mildura, Ouyen, Merbein or Red Cliffs, without fear of prosecution.

This follows earlier firearm amnesties in other parts of the state in the past 12 months.

Inspector John Nolan said the community had until November 30 to surrender any illegal or unwanted firearms for them to be destroyed.

“There are currently more than 856,000 registered firearms across the state, but it’s the unregistered firearms and dangerous weapons in the community that Victoria Police are constantly trying to reduce,” Inspector Nolan said.

“In previous amnesties, we’ve seen a number of items voluntarily surrendered, included high-powered firearms, handguns, imitation firearms and air rifles.

“In our local area during this amnesty, Victorians will be able to anonymously surrender firearms to their local police station or a licensed firearms dealer.

“We are asking everyone to contribute to improving community safety by surrendering items that could pose a danger – particularly if they fell into the wrong hands.”

Inspector Nolan said the amnesty was also a timely reminder for registered firearm owners to review their firearm storage practices ensuring their firearms were safely secured and in accordance with legislative requirements at all times.

“The majority of registered firearm owners are very responsible and treat firearm ownership with the seriousness that it deserves,” he said.

“However, in regional Victoria it’s important to maintain vigilance because rural and regional property owners are at risk of firearm theft due to geographic isolation,” Inspector Nolan said

“As far as police are concerned, if just one illicit firearm or weapon is destroyed then that has made Victoria safer.”

People are to phone their local police station before bringing items in.

All firearms must be wrapped in paper, plastic or cloth and transported to a police station in a safe and secure manner.