Citizens hand over thousands of guns in Australia’s amnesty drive

Representative Image. Photo: wikimedia.org

More than 6,000 guns have been surrendered in Australia’s most populous state in just one month, police said today, after fears of terrorism and an influx of illegal firearms sparked a national amnesty.

The government said in June it believed there were as many as 260,000 illicit weapons on the streets, and with the threat of extremist attacks and a spate of gangland shootings, it wanted to minimise the danger.

Among the weapons handed over in New South Wales were four SKS assault rifles, a 9mm homemade sub-machine gun, a Colt AR-15 rifle, M1 carbine and a .44 calibre magnum revolver, state police said.

In total, some 1,700 rifles, 460 shotguns and nearly 200 handguns were surrendered to police and dealers, while thousands of others were handed in for registration.

“We’ve also received more than 110 prohibited weapons including samurai swords, knives, and other edged weapons,” Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Hoffman said.

No official figures have been announced yet for other states and territories.

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