IT'S only days since the statewide firearms and weapons amnesty started and already a 12-gauge shotgun has been handed in to Oakleigh police.
For the next two months, police stations all over Monash will be accepting firearms and dangerous, prohibited and controlled weapons without question. These include flick knives, throwing stars, butterfly knives, baton, swords and guns.
Weapons handed in will be taken to a police facility in Macleod and destroyed.
Senior Sergeant Andrew Stamper, of the Oakleigh police, says officers are hoping to get more weapons as the amnesty continues. "The more weapons and firearms we can get out of the community, the better," he said.
Senior Sergeant Stamper said people often handed in old firearms that had been kept as souvenirs. "They might have stuff they've had for years and don't quite know how to get rid of it."
Senior Sergeant Stamper said police would not take down the names or contact details of anyone who hands in a weapon.
"We just have to reassure people that it's no questions asked. Any firearms handed in will routinely be checked against outstanding crimes but in terms of the actual process of handing weapons and firearms in, that's as promised. They can just basically hand it in and say, see you later."
Senior Sergeant Diane Wilson said the Glen Waverley police station was yet to get any weapons but she expected strong numbers.
"Normally, we have a really good response, particularly in relation to firearms. A lot of people will have a family member who's passed away and they've still got their firearms. You can bring it in without fear of prosecution."
Under the law, all firearms must be registered and owners have to hold a licence. Certain types of blades, like kitchen knives and Swiss army knives, can only be carried if a person has a reason for doing so, such as camping.
Those without an excuse could face a $1000 on-the-spot fine for being in the possession of a controlled weapon.
In 2011-12, there were 96 weapons and explosives offences recorded in Monash — a spike of almost 30 per cent on the previous year.
Senior Sergeant Stamper said the amnesty would prevent the firearms from falling into the wrong hands. "It gives people that opportunity to hand things in, to get it out of the community and into safe hands without any repercussions."