By LACHLAN MOORHEAD
A TOP cop from Narre Warren police has urged Casey residents to ensure their guns are locked up safely, with stolen firearms increasingly being traded for ice.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Bergin confirmed guns were being stolen from Casey properties and then traded for drugs, including crystal methamphetamine, better known as ice.
Det Sen Sgt Bergin denounced the publicising of firearm collections by registered gun owners.
“The effective storage of firearms is imperative to reducing the likelihood they will be stolen and used to carry out an offence,” he said.
“The harder you make it for someone to steal any of your possessions, including a firearm, the less likely it is to occur.”
Det Sen Sgt Bergin also urged residents who were going on holiday to consider having their guns stored with a licensed firearms dealer during that time.
The Firearms Act 1996 states that devices used to store these items must be constructed of hard wood or steel that is not easily penetrable and secured with a sturdy lock.
The detective’s warning comes after police publicly warned firearms owners in December not to parade their ownership after a flurry of social media activity involving gun ‘selfies’.
Senior Sergeant Andrew Armstrong, from Victoria Police’s Licensing and Regulation Division, last year said that people were recklessly advertising their firearm ownership without considering the consequences.
“This behaviour is concerning. Some criminals trawl social media networks looking for easy targets and items of interest – including ammunition and other weaponry,” Sen Sgt Armstrong said.
“It’s easy enough to gather personal information through public profiles or unsecure accounts.
“Licence holders need to be responsible.
“Any public display of firearm ownership, including stickers on vehicles or house windows, can encourage unwanted attention from thieves.”
For more information about the safe storage of firearms, visit www.police.vic.gov.au/firearms.