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WWII Sub-Machine Gun Handed Over During WA Amnesty

A WWII heavy machine gun discovered by children in a cave is among the "unexpectedly high" number of weapons surrendered to West Australian police during the national gun amnesty.

Police Minister Michelle Roberts said they were surprised to receive 1242 guns during the three-month drive, because 1281 were also handed in during a WA-only amnesty in 2013.

Between July and September, about 700 guns were handed in from metropolitan areas, while 500 came from rural regions.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said a fear of prosecution could prevent people from surrendering unlicensed weapons, often inherited from relatives, but the gun amnesty provided an opportunity to rid themselves of the weapons.

"Western Australia has some of the toughest gun laws in the country," he told reporters on Monday.

Some of the more historic firearms handed in, like the machine gun the kids stumbled across while playing inside a cave on an old Kalbarri property, will be donated to historical societies and museums.

Firearms with historical value will be given to museums and the rest, including several high-powered, modified weapons and ammunition, will be destroyed.

SOME OF THE FIREARMS HANDED INTO WA POLICE:

- 186 shotguns

- A WWII sub-machine gun

- An 1878 Enfield rifle

- 860 rifles, including 85 WWI era rifles and handguns

- 196 handguns

- 65,618 rounds of ammunition

AAP

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