Gun amnesty nets 50,000 firearms – October 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics,

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the three-month National Firearms Amnesty, which ended on September 30, led to more than 50,000 firearms being handed in across Australia.

“This is an overwhelming response and represents a significant reduction in the number of unregistered firearms in the Australian community,” he said.

“Australia has some of the strongest gun laws in the world but illicit firearms remain a threat to community safety.

“As a result of this successful amnesty, there are now 50,000 fewer firearms on the streets.

“While the amnesty has now finished, Justice Minister Michael Keenan is encouraging people who still have an unregistered firearm, or who come into possession of an unregistered firearm, to contact their local police station or firearm registry.”

Mr Turnbull said the firearms surrendered under the amnesty ranged from historic pre-1900 weapons and guns from both World Wars, to modern semi-automatic firearms, a homemade machine gun and even a rocket launcher.

A number of more unusual items were also handed in. These included a sawn-off shotgun found at a local tip in 1995, a handgun used in the early 1900s for personal protection, a pistol small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, and a heavily modified Russian shotgun.

He said the Government was also seeking to increase penalties for gun traffickers, including with mandatory minimum sentences, but Labor had blocked the change in the parliament three times.

However, Labor leader Bill Shorten praised the success of the amnesty and proposed that it be extended to the end of the year. Mr Turnbull rejected the proposal.

Jurisdiction

Firearms received

Jurisdiction

Firearms received

New South Wales

24,965

South Australia

2,648

Queensland

16,000

Australian Capital Territory

709

Victoria

3,654

Western Australia

1,242

Tasmania

1,924

Northern Territory

322

Further Reading