Australia amnesty yields 57,000 guns | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:36 AM, March 02, 2018

Australia amnesty yields 57,000 guns

More than 57,000 illegal firearms, many of them automatic or semi-automatic weapons, have been handed in under an Australian amnesty that authorities yesterday said had made the country safer.

A final count from the three-month campaign to remove weapons from the streets came with debate over gun reform rampant in the United States after a mass school shooting in Florida.

Australia's strict gun laws, enacted after a 1996 mass shooting that killed 35 people, are often held up by safety activists as a model for the US to follow. The country has had no mass shootings since.

The first national amnesty since Martin Bryant went on the rampage armed with semi-automatic weapons at the historic Tasmanian colonial convict site of Port Arthur 22 years ago netted 57,324 firearms.

Running from July 1 to September 30 last year, almost 2,500 of them were fully-automatic and semi-automatic.

Law Enforcement Minister Angus Taylor said it was a great example of what could be achieved "when governments and the Australian public work together to make our communities safer".

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