Police seize more than 20 firearms as part of national Operation
South Australia Police (SAPOL) have visited 60 properties in two weeks, seizing more than 20 illicit firearms and arresting one man as part of a national operation to take illegal weapons off the streets.
Operation Unification – Illegal Guns Off Our Streets, which ran from 16 June until Sunday, was a joint initiative by police agencies across Australia and all State and Territory Crime Stoppers programs encouraging the community to report information about illicit firearms.
In SA this led to more than 20 reports to Crime Stoppers, which in turn saw 26 investigations initiated by police.
In total 23 firearms were seized, another four were surrendered, one 24-year-old man was arrested for breaching a Firearm Prohibition Order and seven people were reported.
SAPOL Assistant Commissioner Paul Dickson said it was pleasing to have removed more than two dozen illicit firearms from circulation.
“We know that it is vital to keep illicit firearms out of the hands of criminals – and that means everyone playing their part,” he said.
“The safe storage of firearms by licenced owners is essential as it helps prevent them being stolen to be used in the commission of serious offences.
“We know that criminals target regional and rural property owners for their firearms, in the belief that they are frequently not secured.
“So we continue to urge licenced firearms owners to comply with the regulations.
“It is also vital that anyone has information about illicit firearms – weapons that have been illegally imported or manufactured in Australia or weapons that have been stolen from registered owners – report that to police.”
In addition, as forecast by police two weeks ago, officers have been conducting security compliance checks throughout the State.
During these security audits police found unsecured firearms located in places such as learning up against a bedroom wall, one in the rafters of an open farming shed and another sitting on an open cabinet.
“While guns are a rural tool of trade, it is important they are not treated like other farming tools, but are kept locked and secured when not in use,” Assistant Commissioner Dickson said.
“We would like to thank all those, who in the vast majority of cases, were complying with the regulations.
“Their efforts, along with those who reported information as part of Operation Unification, are appreciated by police.”
In total SAPOL:
• Visited 60 properties – conducting searches and security audits.
• Seized 15 x .22 rifles, five 12-gauge shotguns, two .308 rifles and one .44 rifle.
• Arrested a 24-year-old from Evanston Gardens and charged him with breaching a Firearm Prohibition Order after allegedly finding him in possession of ammunition. He has appeared in court and been remanded on bail to reappear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on 3 September.
• The seven reports involved unregistered firearms and breaches of licence conditions.
Anyone with information about illicit firearms is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au