SSAA chases real results of firearms amnesty

The national firearms amnesty has come to an end with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announcing that more than 50,000 firearms and items have been recorded throughout the three-month program. The SSAA’s proposed model of including gun dealers as hand-in locations and giving licensed firearm owners the option of registering firearms, instead of simply sending them to the scrapheap, was pleasingly adopted by most jurisdictions.

Commencing on July 1 and concluding on September 30, the SSAA successfully lobbied the Federal Government for the national amnesty as part of our discussions with Justice Minister Michael Keenan. Adoption of the successful Queensland-based amnesty model by most authorities paved the way for participating firearm dealers to be included as hand-in points.

It appears that the states which opted for restrictive amnesty models and excluded gun dealers from the process had less successful results. On the other hand, the states that closely replicated the proven and open amnesty model recorded a higher number of items. Initial inquiries suggest a significant majority of firearms have been registered and are now in the rightful hands of licensed owners.

The SSAA has requested a full breakdown of the data to determine exactly how many firearms were registered, sold or gifted to museums, rather than simply destroyed. As criminals are unlikely to hand in their illegal wares, the SSAA will continue to remind authorities that attention should focus on solutions on how to better target the illegal firearms market.

 

Total items recorded in each jurisdiction according to police data

Jurisdiction

Items received

Australian Capital Territory

709

New South Wales

24,965

Northern Territory

322

Queensland

16,000

South Australia

2648

Tasmania

1924

Victoria

3654

Western Australia

1242

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