Over 50,000 firearms surrendered in Australia
Canberra, Oct 6 (IANS) More than 50,000 firearms in Australia have been turned in since June when a national gun amnesty was declared, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday.
“This amnesty has taken off 51,000 of those unregistered weapons off the streets,” Turnbull said in a statement.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin praised the measure, saying “this is 50,000 less firearms that may find their way into criminal hands. This is 50,000 firearms that might be part of a tragic accident somewhere”, reports Efe news.
The amnesty waived punishments for those who turned in illegally owned weapons.
The initiative is the first such measure at national level since the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, which led to the purchase of around 700,000 illegal arms.
After the tragedy, which left 35 people dead, the Australian government approved the National Firearms Agreement, regulating the use of firearms through a system of licenses which prohibits the sale of all automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
The number of gun-related crimes has reduced significantly since the law was implemented.