A whopping 57,324 firearms – together with a cannon and a rocket launcher – had been handed into Australian authorities as a part of a drive to curb the unlawful firearms market.
The drive got here in response to the 2014 Lindt Café hostage state of affairs wherein an armed gunman entered a café in Sydney and took hostages. Three folks died within the occasion: two hostages and gunman Man Haron Monis.
READ MORE: Timeline of 2014 Australia hostage standoff at Sydney cafe
Following the assault, the Australian authorities permitted a nationwide firearms amnesty – permitting most Aussies at hand of their unlawful weapons with out repercussions.
Australians have already got fairly strict gun legal guidelines; the Nationwide Firearms Settlement in 1996 banned automated, semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns after a person armed with semi-automatic rifles shot and killed 35 folks in Port Arthur, Australia.
Regardless of that, a report launched this week by the Nationwide Firearms and Weapons Coverage Working Group says there are round 250,000 unlicensed weapons in Australia.
READ MORE: Australia banned semi-automatic weapons after a mass homicide: Right here’s what occurred subsequent
However together with black market weapons, there’s a subset of unlawful firearms known as “gray market weapons” — weapons that had been alleged to be registered or handed in in the course of the firearm reform in 1996, however weren’t.
These gray market weapons aren’t usually meant for prison exercise, however a misplaced or stolen gun might find yourself within the palms of an individual with prison intent, the report says. It additionally mentioned those that personal gray market weapons are much less prone to report the weapons stolen or misplaced as a result of they worry repercussions — which is why they got amnesty as per the report.
A gray market gun was used within the 2014 Lindt Café assault.
From July 1 to Sept. 30, folks in Australia handed in 57,324 firearms and one other 2,432 equipment like Suppressors, magazines or shares.
Many of the weapons had been rifles (35,182), and shotguns (12,279). Handguns made up solely 2,901 of the weapons. Air rifles and imitation weapons numbered round 5,000.
There have been additionally 1,984 weapons categorised as “different.”
Amongst these had been oddities and historic weapons – together with a rocket launcher. A number of Second World Warfare-era weapons and people even older had been additionally handed in.
There was additionally a 25-millimetre single-shot brass cannon which was acquired as a part of an property, and a revolver and two sabres from an Australian who served within the Swiss Armed Forces, which can go to a neighborhood museum.
A number of Second World Warfare weapons had been additionally handed in.
As for what occurs to the weapons now? About one-third had been destroyed, whereas the remainder had been both registered and returned to the homeowners or handed to licensed sellers.
Authorities officers praised the drive, saying it was a “excellent outcome.”
“That is one other step within the course of of constructing positive that we preserve firearms out of the palms of criminals and gangs, and we preserve Australians secure and safe,” Regulation Enforcement Minister Angus Taylor advised the Related Press.
Others mentioned the amnesty didn’t change a lot, as weapons returned weren’t the weapons “on the road.”
“The weapons that it will get in an amnesty had been by no means on the road. They’re Grandpa’s outdated weapons. They had been behind a cabinet or wardrobe in a ceiling someplace. They had been by no means going for use in against the law,” Senator David Leyonhjelm, who’s additionally an avid gun proprietor, advised the Australian Broadcasting Company.
Taylor declined to touch upon whether or not the USA and different nations ought to comply with Australia’s instance after the latest Florida highschool capturing that killed 17 folks.
“I’m not going to present recommendation to different nations. That is working for us,” Taylor mentioned, referring to nationwide gun controls.
WATCH: Newest information on Florida college capturing
When requested why they handed of their weapons, over half of respondents mentioned they needed to legally register it. One other 28 per cent mentioned they’d a “sense of duty,” and 17 per cent mentioned they didn’t want the weapons anymore.
Requested the place they acquired the weapons, virtually half (47 per cent) mentioned the weapons had been household heirlooms or acquired via a deceased property. A couple of quarter (27 per cent) mentioned they acquired the weapons from household or buddies, and one other 20 per cent of respondents mentioned they purchased their weapons earlier than the weapons grew to become unlawful.
*with information from the Related Press
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