Gun owners must store safely

LOCAL gun owners are being urged to consider storing their firearms at home in the wake of another stealing.

Four firearms were stolen after thieves struck a property on Betts Ln at Moonbi between Saturday and Wednesday morning.

Once inside they stole a gun safe containing a .22 calibre JW long rifle, a .22 calibre Bruno long rifle, a .410 Boito single barrel shotgun and a .177 Norinco air rifle.

A spray tank was also taken during the break-in.

Oxley crime manager Inspector Phil O’Reilly said it was concerning because the guns could be used to commit another crime.

“It is a concern that firearms are now in the hands of someone unlawfully,” he said.

“We hope that someone is able to provide us with information about their whereabouts so they can be safely recovered.”

Police were called to the scene and forensic officers have combed the area for any clues as to the identity of the offenders.

“The property wasn’t occupied at the time,” Inspector O’Reilly said.

It comes on the back of a break-in in Gunnedah where four guns were reported stolen from a home earlier this week. Oxley detectives are investigating but don’t believe the stealings are linked.

Inspector O’Reilly said there had been a number of guns stolen recently from rural properties outside of Tamworth where the owners haven’t been present.

“I would urge any licensed holders who have firearms stored in unoccupied premises to think very carefully about whether that is a safe storage location,” he said.

“I would hope that owners of registered firearms would consider a safe storage address at their primary residence. We ask that if any community members that might know anything about those firearms to contact Tamworth detectives or Crime Stoppers.”

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