Even with possession shaming, and amid the fear and threat of prosecution, Australians have yet to give up all their guns. It is estimated nearly 300,000 guns are still on the streets in the land down under. These guns don’t belong to the law-abiding citizens either.
Australia’s anti-gun campaign and propaganda launched after a mass shooter killed 35 people in one heinous act of murder. The tragedy took place in 1996, in the city of Port Arthur. Following the crime, and in the wake of national agony, then Prime Minister John Howard moved to take back all the gun rights Australians had since the country’s founding.
Now, over twenty years later, the government of Australia is still actively seeking to root out Aussie guns, with limited success. As a method of doing so, Australia is offering amnesty to anyone who now wishes to come forward and surrender their firearms. More than 6,000 weapons have been turned in over the last month and a half. According to one source:
Among the firearms surrendered to law enforcement thus far are 1,700 rifles, 460 shotguns and almost 200 handguns; that includes such novelties as four SKS assault rifles, a 9 mm submachine-gun, a Colt AR-15 rifle, an M1 carbine and a 0.44 caliber magnum revolver. Thousands of other illicit firearms were handed in for registration.
The amnesty program will continue until September 30th, at which time, presumably, the criminal penalties for possessing a firearm will resume including fines up to $220,000 and 14 years in prison.
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