Australians turn in nearly 18,000 weapons in first year of national cancer amnesty

Australians turned over about 18,000 weapons to police in the first year of the national firearms amnesty, including Vietnam-era flamethrowers, automatic rifles and crossbows.

According to Permanent National Firearms Amnesty, a total of 17,543 firearms and 606 weapon parts, including suppressors and magazines, were delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. annual report Issued by the Attorney General on January 20.

The National Firearms Amnesty Program was approved by the then-Union Government in 2019. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has been postponed until July 2021.

New South Wales (NSW) led the way with 6,704 weapons and firearms surrendered. Victoria and Queensland ranked second and he third, with 3,279 and 2,835 arms and firearms surrendered respectively. Of all firearms submitted, 6,343 were turned over for destruction.

Over 8,000 rifles and nearly 3,000 shotguns were collected and almost 2 tons of ammunition were collected in the ACT, NSW and Tasmania.

Epoch Times photo
Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfuss at Parliament in Canberra, Australia, 16 September 2019. (Tracy Nearmy/Getty Images)

Attorney General Mark Dreyfuss said in a statement, “A lifetime pardon provides an opportunity to turn over unregistered firearms to law enforcement without the threat of penalties or criminal liability.

“This is an important step to reduce the number of firearms in circulation in our communities and to keep Australians safe.”

About half of the weapons were abandoned because they were “unnecessary”

Just under half (48.7%) of the 247 survey respondents said they chose to give up their firearms because they no longer needed or wanted them. 23.5% obtained firearms as a family heirloom and 21.1% were given to them by family or friends.

More than 15% gave up their guns out of a sense of responsibility. 1.2% indicated that they surrendered to avoid being charged with firearms crimes.

“According to a report released today, Australians who gave up firearms during that period were motivated to do so primarily out of a sense of responsibility or because they didn’t need firearms,” ​​Dreyfus said.

“The Albanian government thanks Australians for participating in the permanent amnesty and urges gun owners to continue surrendering unregistered or unwanted firearms.”

Epoch Times photo
Weapons surrendered under the National Firearms Amnesty are seen at the Victoria Police Forensic Services Center in Melbourne, Australia, August 11, 2017. (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The federal government encouraged the anonymous surrender of unregistered or unwanted weapons without punishment. The firearms surrender process in each state or territory climb stopper website.

Australia’s illegal firearms market is large and accessible

Australia boasts one of the strictest gun laws in the world. Lushun MassacreIn 1996, a mass shooting in Tasmania left 35 people dead and 23 wounded.

The country previously had a nationwide buy-back and amnesty scheme from October 1996 to September 1997 (delivering approximately 650,000 firearms) and a three-month period from 1 July to 30 September 2017. Amnesty (resulting in waiving 57,324 articles, according to reports)

In 2016, the Australian Crime Intelligence Council estimated that there may be around 260,000 illegal firearms in Australia. However, the annual report (pdf) said, “The exact extent of Australia’s illicit firearms market cannot be determined because historical data on its size prior to the implementation of the National Firearms Agreement in 1996 is not available.”

They also said that the figure could be as high as 600,000 if the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime data were used, which is a population of 26 million, with 1 in 43 Australians potentially malnourished. suggests that they have access to illegal firearms.

Epoch Times photo
According to the Australian Crime Intelligence Council, the exact extent of Australia’s illegal firearms market cannot be determined.(Malachi Jacobs/Shutterstock)

What’s more, a Deakin University study that interviewed 75 inmates at 16 correctional facilities found it’s relatively easy to obtain illegal firearms in Australia, according to new research. A well-known supermarket.

Criminology Professor David Bright September 2022 media releasesaid Australia has a large pool of illegal firearms available to criminals and only a small portion of which police action can recover each year.

“Our research shows that while the illegal firearms black market is closed to the general public, those who are well-connected and trusted within criminal circles find it surprisingly easy to pick up a gun. can be inserted.

“Interviewees were generally cautious, but they were candid. Many interviewees told us they could get a gun within hours of leaving prison. Told.

In an excerpt from an interview completed by university studythe respondent explained that getting the gun was very easy.

“A few days, a week… call, call a few times. Within a week, we’ll have guns here and rifles here,” one prisoner told Bright.

Another said he was able to get it within 30 minutes.

“If I wanted it, I could probably have it within half an hour. As long as it took me to drive somewhere, I could have gone… and picked it up,” another said. said the prisoner of

Cindy Zhang
Cindy Zhan is a reporter based in Australia. She covers her national news with a focus on China-related issues. Any tips? Please contact [email protected]

Victoria Kelly-Clark

Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australia-based reporter focusing on the national politics and geopolitical environment in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.