Tags: australian | gun | amnesty | first | weeks

Australian Gun Amnesty a Fast Draw in 1st Weeks

Image: Australian Gun Amnesty a Fast Draw in 1st Weeks

Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Hoffman of the New South Wales Police speaks to the media at a press conference at their headquarters in Sydney on on August 8, 2017. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 11 Aug 2017 02:19 PM

Australians turned in 12,500 guns in four weeks as part of a three-month amnesty program aimed at reducing the number of illegal guns in that country.

The amnesty period, which began July 1, will run until September 30 and allows people to turn in unregistered or unwanted firearms without being prosecuted for possession of the guns, The New York Times reported. Possessing an unregistered firearm is punishable by a fine of up to $220,000 or 14 years in jail.

Gun policy specialist Philip Alpers called the amnesty “a real success,” even as he admitted that most criminals would probably not turn in their guns during such a program, the Times reported. Alpers speculated that most of the guns being turned in are not in working condition or are long guns like rifles, which are mostly used by farmers rather than criminals.

A 2016 report from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission said that about 250,000 long guns and 10,000 handguns were unregistered or illegal, the Times reported.

Recent terror attacks have led to the push to get more guns off the streets. Three terrorist attacks have used illegal guns since 2014, and Justice Minister Michael Keenan said that the amnesty program would reduce the amount of guns that could fall into the hands of violent criminals, U.S. News and World Report said.

Gun amnesty has not been offered in Australia since 1996, when a buyback program netted nearly 700,000 guns, U.S. News reported. A total of 2.89 million guns are legally registered in Australia, and the report suggested that as many as 600,000 unregistered guns could be in the country.

Prior to 1996, guns did not have to be registered in Australia, U.S. News said.

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Australians turned in 12,500 guns in four weeks as part of a three-month amnesty program aimed at reducing the number of illegal guns in that country.
australian, gun, amnesty, first, weeks
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2017-19-11
Friday, 11 Aug 2017 02:19 PM
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