Prohibited very high-powered firearms buyback success

07 July 2023

Hundreds of very high-powered firearms have been removed from the Western Australian community, following a successful State Government funded buyback initiative.

  • 280 dangerous firearms removed from the WA community
  • 56 types of guns and 19 calibres of ammunition now illegal
  • Outlawed weapons surrendered, lawfully altered or sold outside of WA
  • 185 firearms purchased from owners at market-value through State Government buyback

Two hundred and eighty guns designed to shoot over long ranges with extraordinary power and precision were handed in, altered to become legal or have been sold interstate/overseas.

The weapons and ammunition were added to the State's prohibited list of firearms due to the significantly high risk they pose to law enforcement and the public in addition to the lack of any justifiable reason for their use.

Successful communication with licenced firearms owners led WA Police to identify 32 additional individual weapons which were eligible for the buyback.

Police have approved payments in excess of $1 million as part of the buyback scheme, with dozens more still being processed.

The State Government has commended very high-powered firearms owners for their cooperation prior to the 1 July deadline.

Comments attributed to Police Minister Paul Papalia:

"I thank the affected firearms licence holders for their cooperation and commend those who came forward and handed their powerful firearms into police.  

"Removing hundreds of very high-powered firearms from the community has made Western Australia safer for residents and police. 

"Our re-write of the State's five-decade old Firearms Act is on track.

"A draft will be released prior to the Bill entering Parliament in November."

Comments attributed to Police Commissioner Col Blanch:

"I would like to thank the licensed firearm holders involved for working with police to ensure that all of these high-powered firearms were surrendered, disposed of outside of WA or modified to meet the updated licensing requirements.

"This buyback and the ongoing rewrite of WA's firearm laws will ensure community safety comes first, and make an already tough job safer for my officers, who are out on our streets day and night protecting our community."