Warning for gun owners

Last updated 05:00 25/08/2009

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Firearms owners are putting communities and the police in danger by not properly securing their weapons, South Taranaki police say.

Two firearms, a .22 calibre rifle taken on August 17 and a shotgun taken on July 1, were not properly stored and have been stolen in home burglaries in South Taranaki.

The law requires firearms owners to lock their weapons in an approved gun cabinet and to keep the bolts and ammunition secured in a separate location.

Police say owners who do not properly secure their weapons could lose their firearms licence.

Taranaki rural area commander Inspector Frank Grant said police were concerned where the stolen firearms could end up.

"We are concerned about the risk associated if firearms got into the wrong hands," Mr Grant said.

"It elevates the risk to the community and the police, if these firearms are in the wrong hands."

Mr Grant said he was receiving more reports from officers that firearms were not being securely stored.

"If it is brought to my attention, I look at the information and make a determination whether or not to revoke their licence," he said.

Police would be cracking down on firearms owners' not securing their weapons.

Gun owners could eliminate any unnecessary hassles by locking their weapons away, he said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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