Australia’s first National Firearms Amnesty aimed at reducing the number of unregistered firearms in our community runs from 1 July to 30 September 2017.
During the three-month amnesty, anyone can hand in unregistered firearms or firearm-related items for registration or surrender at approved drop-off points without penalty and without fear of prosecution.
In Australia, it is illegal to have an unregistered firearm. Outside of the amnesty period, anyone caught with an unregistered firearm could face a fine of up to $280,000, 14 years in jail, and a criminal record.
It is important to remove unregistered firearms from the community because of the risks they carry – they have been proven to end up in the hands of people with criminal intent. For example, Man Haron Monis used an unregistered shotgun during the Lindt Café Siege.
Amnesty participants do not need to provide personal details if they surrender a firearm or firearm-related article for destruction – there is a no-questions-asked policy. There is also no cost involved with handing in firearms or related items for destruction.
This amnesty is as much about giving families a chance to get rid of an old heirloom as it is about getting guns off our streets.