Originally published in the Shepparton News
Police are reminding gun owners to be careful what they post on social media after a trend of firearm “selfies” across Victoria.
Victoria Police licensing and regulation division Senior Sergeant Andrew Armstrong said people were recklessly advertising firearm ownership without considering the consequences.
“This behaviour is concerning some criminals trawl social media networks looking for easy targets and items of interest, including ammunition and other imagery,” he said.
“It's easy enough to gather personal information through public profiles or unsecure accounts. Licence holders need to be responsible. Any public display of firearm ownership, including stickers on vehicles or house windows, can encourage unwanted attention from thieves.”
Police would continue to carry out impromptu inspections during the coming months as firearm storage offences remained a regular occurrence across the state.
“Some licence holders are becoming too complacent,” he said.
“With the responsibility of owning a firearm comes the irresponsibility of storing one.
If your firearms can be easily accessed, you need to improve your security.”
The Firearms Act 1996 stated devices used to store these items must be constructed of hardwood or steel that was not easily penetrable and secured with a lock of sturdy construction. Penalties range from about $8000 or one year's imprisonment to $35 000 or four years' imprisonment, depending on the category of firearm.
“We know the majority of licence holders comply with storage conditions, however, there are still a significant number who don't,” Sen Sgt Armstrong said.
For more information about the safe storage of firearms, visit www.police.vic.gov.au/firearms