Illegal firearms crackdown: Police launch campaign to prevent thefts of guns

STOPPING THE FLOW: NSW Police on Tuesday launched a campaign in an attempt to bring an end to the theft and sale of illegal firearms. FILE PHOTO
STOPPING THE FLOW: NSW Police on Tuesday launched a campaign in an attempt to bring an end to the theft and sale of illegal firearms. FILE PHOTO

Orana Mid-Western Police District officers will form part of the nationwide effort to crack down on firearm theft in regional areas.

Operation Armour will be conducted in rural areas across the state and focus on preventing, disrupting and reducing firearm thefts.

Regional NSW Field Operations, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said the theft and sale of firearms occurred often in regional areas.

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"Firearms that are not stored securely or stored at locations that are not in daily or even regular use, make easy opportunities for thieves during break-and-enters," he said.

"When in the wrong hands, firearms are dangerous, and a threat to the community.

"We will continue to do everything we can do to keep the public safe."

Western Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie said Operation Armour will also strengthen relationships between local police and the community.

Western Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie.

Western Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie.

"There's only so much police can do on our own, we need the assistance of the community in reporting firearm thefts to us, so that we can get more guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals," he said.

"We understand that people in rural communities hold firearms for legitimate reasons, so following safe storage procedures is vital in the prevention of theft.

"People are reminded that there are hefty penalties for those who possess unregistered or illicit firearms."

General duties officers will be assisted by specialist police from the Firearms Registry, Rural Crime Prevention Team, the Drug and Firearms Squad, and the Criminal Groups Squad's Strike Force Raptor throughout the operation.

Firearms Prohibition Orders and Weapons Prohibition Orders will be conducted, as well as safe storage inspections.

More information about responsibilities as a firearms owner, including licences, permits; sale and purchase, and safe storage can be found at the Firearms Registry page on the NSW Police Force website.