The BBC World News Service reports that Australia’s launching another National Gun Amnesty. Normally, an Aussie convicted of owning an unregistered or otherwise illegal firearm faces a $212,730 fine and up to 14 years in prison. On July 1st, they can turn in their illegal firearms without fear of prosecution. Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan justified the new/old program by asserting that terrorists used illegal guns in recent terror attacks in The Land Down Under, joining organized crime in the practice.
The last Australian gun
confiscation turn-in went down in 1996 after the Port Arthur massacre. That’s when Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured another 23. Despite the fact that Bryant had an I.Q. of 66 and various mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, Asperger syndrome and a combination of conduct disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders), Aussies used the slaughter as a pretext to “tighten” gun control.
The debate over the efficacy of Australia’s draconian gun control regime continues. As in California, Australian antis take credit for crime rates that were already trending downwards before the government set about disarming the citizenry. So where are they in that process? abcnews.go.com gives us the 411 on the island nation’s current firearms ownership landscape.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the nation has since imported almost 1.2 million legal guns. Military-style, semi-automatic assault rifles continue to be banned from public ownership.
There are 2.89 million registered guns among 24 million Australians, an increase of 9.3 percent in the past five years, the report said. An Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission report released last year estimated there could be as many as 600,000 unregistered guns in Australia.
Most illegal guns in Australia were legally owned before 1996, when guns did not have to be registered. They were not handed in during the buyback and there are no records that they even exist, the report said.
There’s been little to no opposition to the new national amnesty campaign. No howls of indignation about the government working so hard to restrict and deny citizens their right and ability to defend themselves by force of arms. Apparently, that was settled a long time ago.