National gun amnesty comes into effect

·2-min read

A gun amnesty has come into effect across Australia, allowing anyone with unregistered or unwanted firearms to hand them over to police without being penalised.

The amnesty, announced by the federal government, aims to remove such weapons from the community where they could fall into the hands of criminals.

"Unregistered firearms are a threat to our community," Assistant Minister for Community Safety Jason Wood said on Thursday.

"They are difficult to trace and can fall into the hands of criminals to commit terrible crimes while avoiding police detection."

Anyone holding an unregistered firearm or firearm-related item can from Thursday surrender it to a police station, anonymously and without penalty, for registration, sale or destruction.

Licensed firearms dealers will also be able to accept surrendered firearms in most states and territories.

"If you have an unregistered firearm and you want to keep it, hand it in and see if you can register it," Mr Wood said in a statement.

"If you don't want to keep your firearm, hand it in. Your community will thank you."

But if a person does not surrender an unregistered firearm and is found holding one, they could be prosecuted.

The last national firearms amnesty in 2017 resulted in more than 57,000 weapons being handed in across Australia.

This amnesty will be permanent, the government said.

No compensation for surrendered weapons will be paid.

People surrendering weapons to police or a dealer should call ahead and deliver the items in a bag or other covering, unloaded.

WHAT'S INCLUDED UNDER THE AMNESTY:

* Gel blasters - toy guns that look a lot like real guns that fire gel balls'. Western Australia will ban these from July 3.

* Crossbows - not specifically included but contact your local police to arrange surrender.

* Illegal accessories - silencers, ammunition and other parts are included.

* Faulty firearms and parts - included.

* Licensed firearms - included.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting