The new laws will close the loopholes that allow violent offenders from owning firearms.

Gun buyback success

Police Minister Paul Papalia urges gun owners to participate and receive compensation before the opportunity passes.
May 16, 2024

THE state government’s $64.3 million voluntary firearm buyback scheme has reached a significant milestone, with more than 10,000 firearms removed from the Western Australian community.

During the first 10 weeks in operation, the buyback scheme saw just over 1000 guns on average handed in each week, including 1043 handguns, 2521 shotguns and 6466 rifles.

More than half of the 10,030 firearms were surrendered within the metropolitan districts.

The buyback supports the historic firearms reform, which is about to enter Parliament’s Legislative Council for debate following years of extensive consultation with industry stakeholders, firearms owners, and the WA public.

Individual firearms licence holders are eligible to receive a maximum of $1000 for their gun, dependent on type, style, calibre, and initial registration date.

New legislation will see WA become the first jurisdiction in the nation to impose a limit on the number of firearms an individual can own, as well as more rigorous licensing and storage provisions plus the introduction of mandatory health checks and mandatory disqualifying offences.

In addition to rewriting the state's 50-year-old Firearms Act, the state government has already more than doubled the penalties for anyone convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm or unlawfully discharging a firearm in public, outlawed 3D printed guns, and introduced firearm prohibition orders to target bikies and other organised crime figures.

Police Minister Paul Papalia said WA’s enhanced and modernised legislation will ensure stricter regulation of firearms throughout the state.

“An overhaul of the corrupted property letter system alone will see a significant reduction in the number of written authorities granted by landowners,” he said.

“Many people who currently have a property letter as their only reason for owning a firearm might not be able to adhere to the new requirements.

“The Firearms Bill is designed to enhance public safety by ensuring unnecessary firearms aren’t spread throughout WA.

“The state’s outdated laws currently allow guns to be legally owned by people who have been convicted of serious crimes, including dangerous family and domestic violence offenders.

“The introduction of mandatory disqualifying offences will remove this loophole and make WA a safer place for women and children.

“I strongly encourage all firearms owners to consider participating in the buyback before it closes or the fund is exhausted.

“This is your one opportunity to receive compensation from the state government before the new laws come into effect.”

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