Crime Stoppers urges gun owners to have a firearm plan for their senior years

Own a gun? Whose hands will it fall into when you get old or die?

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KEEPING GUNS OFF OUR STREETS: (L-R)Senior Constable Kerrin Sheedy, Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan MP, Crime Stoppers Queensland Volunteer Liaison, Acting Superintendent Kylie Rigg, Ipswich Volunteer Crimestoppers committee chairperson, Scott Mawhinney, and Ipswich District Police Detective Inspector David Briese with weapons which have been surrendered.

KEEPING GUNS OFF OUR STREETS: (L-R)Senior Constable Kerrin Sheedy, Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan MP, Crime Stoppers Queensland Volunteer Liaison, Acting Superintendent Kylie Rigg, Ipswich Volunteer Crimestoppers committee chairperson, Scott Mawhinney, and Ipswich District Police Detective Inspector David Briese with weapons which have been surrendered.

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Crime Stoppers Queensland is encouraging seniors to have a plan and 'future-proof' their gun ownership.

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There are Australians who legally and responsibly own a gun for work or sport. But what happens to that firearm if the licensed owner becomes aged or dies, and they haven't made plans for its future ownership.

According to Crime Stoppers there is a danger these weapons could end up in the hands of criminals wreaking havoc on our streets.

In support of the National Government's firearm amnesty Crime Stoppers Queensland is encouraging seniors to 'future-proof' their gun ownership.

In Queensland, when firearms are not considered in estate planning, they are vulnerable to becoming lost or even stolen for criminal activity.

Crime Stoppers has partnered with the Australian Government to roll out a permanent national firearms amnesty, cracking down on the estimated 260,000 firearms in the illegal domestic market.

Ipswich District Police Detective Inspector David Briese said licensed firearm owners need to set future plans for their firearms and consider who takes ownership of their guns when they enter their senior years.

"If you don't have a current will bequeathing the weapons to a beneficiary of your estate requirements to look after your firearm safely, you could be leaving an unnecessary emotional and stressful problem for your family," he said.

"A firearm in the hands of an unlicensed person is not only unlawful but can be dangerous. If not properly stored, there is always a risk your loved ones or others could be harmed. Furthermore, if left unattended in the home of a deceased estate the firearm may be stolen and go unreported - meaning our community is placed at risk.

If you don't have a current will bequeathing the weapons to a beneficiary of your estate requirements to look after your firearm safely, you could be leaving an unnecessary emotional and stressful problem for your family. - Ipswich District Police Detective Inspector David Briese

"Responsible firearm ownership is a key factor in keeping our community safe. We are encouraging senior members of our community to future-proof their firearms and ensure that they are being handed over to a responsible and licensed firearms owner when they downsize."

Responsible firearm ownership is a key factor in keeping our community safe. We are encouraging senior members of our community to future-proof their firearms and ensure that they are being handed over to a responsible and licensed firearms owner when they downsize. - Ipswich District Police Detective Inspector David Briese.

Crime Stoppers Queensland Regional Director Renae Long said while Australia had some of the toughest gun controls in the world, illicit firearms were an increasingly desirable commodity facilitating criminal activity and putting the community in danger.

"Protecting our loved ones and making our communities safer is everyone's responsibility. We all have an important role to play in ensuring illicit firearms do not get into the hands of criminals. If you are a licensed firearm owner, then ensuring your firearm is in your will, dramatically reduces the risk to your family," she said.

In your senior years it is important to plan for your future, and this includes the ongoing care and responsibility of your firearm."

Crime Stoppers Queensland has launched Phase 2 of its Illicit Firearms Campaign with a clear message to Queenslanders, 'keeping our communities safe and free of illicit weapons is everyone's responsibility'.

Protecting our loved ones and making our communities safer is everyone's responsibility. We all have an important role to play in ensuring illicit firearms do not get into the hands of criminals. If you are a licensed firearm owner, then ensuring your firearm is in your will, dramatically reduces the risk to your family. - Crime Stoppers Queensland Regional Director Renae Long.

The Campaign is an ongoing effort by Crime Stoppers Queensland to reduce the number of, and access to, illicit unregistered firearms in the community.

Being caught with an unregistered or illegal firearm outside amnesty conditions could result in a fine of up to $66,725, up to 13 years in jail, and a criminal record.

Information about individual state and territory requirements, including how and where to surrender firearms, can be found here.

If you have information about an illicit firearm in your community you can anonymously report this to Crime Stoppers, call 1800-333-000 or make a report online here.

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