Police have seized more than 450 firearms from a property in Cooma, many of which had to be dumped in wheelie bins of bleach due to mould contamination.
Late last month (August 22), officers attached to Monaro Police District attended a property in Cooma to seize seven firearms that had failed to be forfeited from a deceased estate.
An 80-year-old man, who is a registered firearms dealer, assisted police with their inquiries. Only three of the seven guns could be located.
During their search, police witnessed a large number of firearms stored at the property, with suspected damage due to moisture.
On Tuesday, September 3, police returned to the property and seized 462 firearms and ammunition with the assistance of NSW Fire and Rescue.
A police spokesperson confirmed the investigation concerned a "licensed firearms dealer".
"There was a variety of guns in a large safe located in a garage," they said.
The spokesman said the weapons were of an older type, "which people collect".
"It didn't look like they were in a working condition," he said.
Due to the poor conditions of the firearms, attending personnel required breathing apparatuses to retrieve them.
Firefighters soaked some weapons in chlorine to protect themselves from inhaling mould.
"We are decontaminating the butt and the stocks because they had microorganisms on them," a Fire and Rescue spokesman said.
He said guns in various conditions, including shotguns and bolt action guns, were found. Some had been there for perhaps 20 years.
An investigation into alleged breaches of the Firearms Act is underway. and the man's firearms licences have been suspended.
Read more Court and Crime here