A STATE-WIDE operation targeting the safe storage of firearms will be rolled out across the state over the next two years.
Operation Exert commenced in Chifley Police District this week and was launched in Bathurst on Tuesday.
Through the operation, police and firearm registry personnel will conduct extensive audits of local firearm dealers, ranges and high-risk storage locations, while proactively engaging with members of the firearms industry.
Detective Superintendent Peter O'Brien, Chifley Police District Commander, said the operation would cover all aspects of firearm compliance and the very serious aspect of policing it.
He said many regional centres in the Central West have a high percentage of firearms, and some housing firearms are not to the standard police expect.
"Firearms at farms and in a lot of premises are unfortunately not up to the standard we would like to see, as far as the safety of firearms," he said.
"So we need to maintain everyone is doing the right thing in regard to their compliance.
"And that is a big focus of the operation," he said.
Supt O'Brien said gun crime and compliance issues were well controlled in Chifley, thanks to a robust operation already underway in the area, Operation Render Safe.
He said Operation Exert differed because in addition to local police, this operation also involves the expertise and staff from the firearms registry.
He said the specialised staff are working alongside police in combating compliance issues, licensing issues and registrations as well as working with second hand dealers and gun rangers.
"It's the whole gamut," he said adding the operation will work in co-operation with Crime Stoppers.
"It's that extra overlay (giving people) the opportunity to report suspicious activity relating to firearms; the sale of firearms, the theft or firearms and illegal firearms" he said.
Acting Superintendent Cameron Lindsay, Firearms Registry Commander said a big component of the operation was increasing the capacity of local police to undertake engagement activities with the firearm industry.
"Not only rangers and dealers but gun clubs as well," he said.
He said officers had undertaken an educational component this week, and were trained in aspects of auditing and getting an idea of how to engage with local gun clubs and the firearms industry.
"In a lot of cases we find people in the industry know who the rogue dealers are and who the gun owners who may be a concern are," Supt Lindsay said.