FIREARM owners are being urged to familiarise themselves with the new laws coming into effect on August 30 and ensure their storage is up to standard prior to that date.
Firearm storage requirements under Schedule 4 of the Firearms Act 1996 are set to change at the end of the month.
The changes apply to category A, B, C, and D longarms and general category handguns.
Central Victorian Firearms Officer Leading Senior Constable Mark Wilkinson said that from August 30, everyone with a firearm licence must store their firearm in a purpose-built cabinet.
"Previously people were allowed to keep their firearms in wooden containers and all sorts of stuff," he said
"Wood's gone so it's all now steel. At least 1.6mm (thick) and purpose-built for the storage of firearms.
"And if it weighs less than a 150kg when empty, it must be bolted to the structure of the premises."
The firearms expert said the storage also required a lock of sturdy construction.
Many licensed firearm owners will already have storage facilities that meet the new minimum standards being introduced.
Those who are storing their firearms in bolted clothing lockers or hardwood safes will need to upgrade before August 30.
People who plan to become firearm licence-holders for the first time will also need to be aware of these changes to ensure they are storing their firearms legally.
Police are encouraging the public to store their firearms properly and legally to stop their guns from falling into the hands of opportunistic thieves who may use them as weapons to aid their serious criminal offending.
Leading Senior Constable Wilkinson said storing firearms as safely as possible reduced the risk of them being stolen and being used in further violent offending.
Divisional Firearm Officers will be regularly carrying out inspections to ensure licensed owners are complying with the new regulations.
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