Deceased estate guns can’t simply be inherited
TOODYAY’S ageing population means increasing numbers of older gun owners need to decide what to do with their firearms before they pass away.
This is because it is illegal for a deceased person’s guns to be kept by a surviving family member or friend unless they are co-licenced to possess the firearms licence.
Guns are licensed to people who lawfully possess them.
Some firearms are worth a lot of money – $10,000 or more – and their value can form a significant part of a deceased estate.
Inheriting a gun for sentimental value doesn’t meet the genuine need required under state law as a valid reason to be granted a firearms licence.Read more
Gun owners have to show that they have a genuine need – such as to control rabbits on a rural property or humane destruction of stock – to qualify for a firearms licence.
This is often overlooked in wills, which places pressure on executors to decide how to dispose of unwanted firearms in a deceased estate.
Executors need to contact everyone eligible and determine if any of them want to take the deceased person’s guns, and whether that person can obtain a firearms licence.
While that occurs, the firearms need to be moved to secure commercial storage, such as with a licensed gun dealer (there is one in Toodyay), or risk being seized and possibly destroyed when police are notified that a death has occurred.
We are regularly required to seize firearms and some are from deceased estates where no arrangements for their disposal were made prior to the passing of the owner.
The same rules apply to ammunition.
We urge gun owners to make plans or arrange disposal of firearms and ammunition, when no longer needed or prior to their passing. It is much easier to manage before they pass away and places less pressure on grieving families.
If in doubt, Toodyay Police can help.
Nearly three times over limit
DRINK driving continues to be a concern in our community and, although most motorists are abiding by the law, some are still deliberately ignoring it.
Local officers stopped a middle-aged man last month driving who tested positive with a blood alcohol content reading of 0.148 per cent – nearly three times the State’s legal limit.
The alleged offence occurred at about 2pm on a weekday and was detected during a random breath testing in Stirling Terrace near the Alma Beard Medical Centre.
The offender said he was driving home to Perth after drinks and lunch with a friend.
“You’ve probably got me,” he told police when stopped.
“I just had a few beers with my mate.”
The high positive reading prompted the man’s driver’s licence to be automatically suspended for 10 days.
He had to leave his car in the town’s main street and arrange for it to be removed by someone else.
The man was also summoned to appear in court within 10 days.
Motorists need to reflect on the ramifications of drink driving, such as injury and or death of themselves and others.
Lesser consequences include maintaining work if you need your licence, getting to and from work and that your licence will be suspended for months if not years.
It can also disrupt family life, including getting kids to school or sport and doing shopping.
An automatic driving ban also applies to motorists who test positive for driving with illegal drugs present in their system.
Drugs generally remain in a person’s system longer than alcohol and can show a positive reading one or two days later.
Our random testing in and around Toodyay results in at least one drug driver a month, sometimes more, being detected.
Similar to alcohol it is an offence for which you will end up in court for driving with traces of illegal drugs in your system.
Home violence rife
DOMESTIC violence in Toodyay continues to be a large part of our weekly workload.
We are called on every week to deal with at least two or three breaches of court-ordered violence restraining orders.
There has been a noted increase in domestic violence in the past year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as people have lost work or had to deal with lockdowns and other health restrictions.
Typically, it is the result of disputes between husbands and wives, extended families, siblings and others with personal relationships.
Police are usually called when situations need to be calmed or people need protection.
Ultimately, police will provide advice and engage support groups to further help.
However, incidents involving violence will not be tolerated.
Police will take actions to protect vulnerable people and charge aggressors where evidence exists.
Situations can end catastrophically
Sadly, it is seen all too often in the papers or on the news where these situations can and do end catastrophically
We encourage all parties to speak up and seek help for whatever the underlying issues are.
Government agencies and private support groups are available to help.
Once we become involved, details are forwarded to a special police unit in Northam to assess if further support is needed for victims and offenders.
People who are fearful for their personal safety and that of their families can contact us to get advice about what they can do without having to make an official complaint, if that is their choosing.
Police receive a lot of training for these types of issues and are here to help.
Policing is about helping people, changing people’s behaviour – not punishment.
Four in mandatory isolation
LOCAL police were checking last month on four people in mandatory self-isolation after they visited Perth hotspots named in the recent Anzac Day long weekend lockdown or had returned from outside WA.
All did the right thing, staying home to protect the community.
It is pleasing to note that many local people and visitors observed the requirement to wear face masks after returning to Toodyay during the extended Perth quarantine period; well done to all concerned.
LAST month we talked about legal requirements for people flying drones.
To clarify some queries, recreational drones can be flown in some areas of the Shire of Toodyay (see map left).
While a lot of Toodyay air space is restricted, it is OK in those areas to fly small drones at appropriate times with permission.
There are dos and don’ts involved in operating drones.
Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is the regulating body, and State police will gather information and advise CASA of relevant incidents.
WA police deal with State-related issues.