Comment: Federated Farmers Rural Security Spokesperson Miles Anderson has some important tips and reminders for the end of the firearms amnesty on December 20.
It's just a few weeks until the Government 'buy-back' of prohibited firearms shuts up shop.
What's the story?
Since March 15 the changes have impacted many firearm owners, including a number of farmers who are having to face the fact that some of their pest control tools are no longer a legal option. From December 20 compensation for handing in these firearms will end, and if caught in possession of them you will lose both your firearms licence and face possible serious prosecution.
For anyone weighing up the odds of keeping a favourite firearm or a large capacity magazine stashed away - it seems to be a "no brainer". Get some money back for a firearm that you can no longer legally use and buy a suitable replacement or leave yourself out of pocket and put your business and hobby at risk.
What's the risk?
A firearms prosecution is a serious offence and will stop you from travelling to a number of countries. Is keeping a favourite rifle worth having to ring a neighbour to come down every time a cow needs euthanizing, missing out on duck shooting or the roar, or not being able to travel to your kid's wedding overseas?
Media have focused heavily on modern semi-automatic weapons, however much older non-semi-automatics have been outlawed also. For many of us this is an heirloom firearm that's been in the family forever, and we have simply forgotten about it.
Double-check your gun cabinet today, then check the prohibited firearms list at your local police station, or check online.
What is Federated Farmers doing?
Please know, we are pushing hard for pest control exemptions. We have presented strong cases twice to select committee, and will continue to advocate to the government. But this could take some time, and it is better to re-buy at a later date when it is legal.
Firearms can be handed back at collection events, authorised firearms dealers or at police stations.
Whatever your thoughts on the process or criteria, do yourself a favour and hand prohibited firearms over while you still can.
The risks of trying to keep them are just not worth it.