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SSAA-approved amnesty in full swing

More than 11,100 firearms have been registered, sold or handed in during the first 31 days of the ongoing national firearms amnesty. However, it is unclear how many firearms have been registered in total, with the Attorney-General’s Department indicating it is likely to provide a breakdown of the data at the end of the amnesty period.

Commencing on July 1 and running until September 30, the amnesty has provided an opportunity for people to register, sell or hand in unregistered firearms. It is based on a proven model the SSAA successfully lobbied the Federal Government for, which has paved the way for participating firearm dealers to be included as hand-in points in most jurisdictions.

While Justice Minister Michael Keenan described the amnesty as a chance to “remove unregistered firearms from the community” and appeared to indicate the firearms captured to date were headed for the scrapheap, the reality is that many firearms will be registered or sold to licensed firearm owners. Images of firearms being destroyed are not a true reflection of the amnesty.

Pleasingly, the amnesty has seen rare items of historical significance recovered, including heirlooms from WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War. A Martini-Enfield British army rifle from the 1800s and a rare WWI aircraft machine gun have turned up in Western Australia, while a .44-calibre black powder pistol was handed in to a local police station in Queensland. Many of these will be displayed or housed in museums.

The SSAA Legislative Action department has put together a guide for those wishing to participate in the nationwide amnesty, which ends on September 30, 2017. The SSAA-LA will continue to keep a close eye on the amnesty and will scrutinise the final results.

Firearms received to July 31, 2017

JurisdictionUnregistered firearms received
New South Wales4961 (6400*)
Queensland3500
Victoria751
Tasmania696
South Australia687
Australian Capital Territory159
Western Australia301
Northern Territory59

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