Australia brings in national gun amnesty

Australia has announced its first national gun amnesty since 1996 due to the growing terrorism threat and an influx of illegal arms in the country.

During the three-month amnesty running from 1 July, people can hand in unregistered weapons without the fear of prosecution, the government says. Anyone caught outside that period faces fines of up to $280,000 or up to 14 years in prison.

It is predicted that there are as many as 260,000 illicit guns in Australia.

Michael Keenan, the Australian Minister for Justice, said illegal guns were used in recent terror attacks in Australia as well as for organised crime. He added: “This is an opportunity for people to present the guns to authorities, no questions asked and with no penalty. If people don't take that opportunity, the penalties for owning an unregistered or illegal gun in Australia are very severe.”

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