Will Australian gun violence decrease after this amnesty?
Frank Rijkers – South Africans To Oz
Australian gun violence seems to be on the increase and with the threat of terrorism the government is determined to remove as many guns from society as possible.
I always thought of Australia as a relatively gun free society but was shocked to find that the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) estimates there are about 260,000 illegal firearms (250,000 long-arms and 10,000 hand guns) in the cities alone.
The Australian national firearms amnesty has now reached its halfway point (1 July 2017 – 30 September 2017) and gun experts suggest that a different approach is needed to prevent more unnecessary Australian gun violence related deaths.
The PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA THE HON MALCOLM TURNBULL MP has stated that “Australia’s 3 month National Firearms Amnesty has led to more than 50,000 firearmshttp://www.pm.gov.au/media/2017-10-06/amnesty-sees-50,000-firearms-handed being handed in across Australia.”
That’s a lot of guns!! and great for public safety leading, hopefully, to less Australian gun violence.
Still… plenty of legal guns out there
According to GunPolicy.org there are, and I quote:-” there re more than 2.89 million legally registered firearms in Australia.”
This is an increase of approximately 9.3 per cent since December 2011, when the number of registered firearms in Australia was approximately 2.75 million—a ratio of approximately 123 registered firearms per 1,000 people in 2011.
In 2016 this ratio rose slightly to 125 registered firearms per 1,000 people”
Gun expert on Australian gun violence
Aussie gun expert Professor Philip Aplers claims that research studies show that the very limited, unenforced amnesties like this latest one produces no measurable decrease in violent crime.
Read his report:- The Big Melt: How One Democracy Changed After Scrapping a Third of its Firearms
Recent gun related incidents in Australia has again focused attention on how better gun control laws might help to prevent shootings in the first place.
Amnesty results to date
As of 7 September 2017, the national total of guns handed in stands at about 26,000 firearms i.e. about 10% of the illegal gun total.
The amnesty still has 3 weeks to run.
That’s a lot of guns but still a drop in the ocean when compared to the 260,000 – 26,000 = 234,000 illegal guns still out there.
Experts reckon many weapons are lawfully imported by licenced gun owners, but then get lost.
They also state that although the Australian gun amnesty and system of gun registration works well, we lack a more focused approach on disrupting criminal activity and holding offenders to account.
Bringing together police, justice and health services as well as educators and especially community leaders has proven to be very successful in countries like the UK, USA, Canada and Europe.
What is required to own a gun in Australia
In 1996 all states subscribed to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) revised in 2017, instituted through the Australian Police Ministers Council (APMC) with the cooperation of all states.
Different firearms are defined by category
Source – wikipedia.org
Rimfire ammunition, rifles (not semi-automatic), shotguns (not pump-action), air rifles (includes semi-automatic) and paintball guns.
Centrefire rifles (not semi-automatic) includes pump action and lever action.
Muzzle loading firearms manufactured after 1 January 1901.
Pump-action or self-loading shotguns having a magazine capacity of 5 or fewer rounds and semi-automatic rimfire rifles up to 10 rounds.
Primary producers, farm workers, firearm dealers, firearm safety officers, collectors and clay target shooters can own functional Category C firearms.
- This class is available to target shooters and certain security guards whose job requires possession of a firearm
- Handgunsinclude air pistols and deactivated handguns.
- To be eligible for a Category H firearm, a target shooter must serve a probationary period of 6 months using club handguns, after which they may apply for a permit
- Must participate in a minimum number of matches yearly to retain each category of handgun
- Be a paid-up member of an approved pistol club
- Target shooters are limited to handguns of .38 or 9mm calibre or less and magazines may hold a maximum of 10 rounds
- Participants in certain “approved” pistol competitions may acquire handguns up to .45″, currently Single Action Shooting and Metallic Silhouette
- IPSC shooting is approved for 9mm/.38/.357 sig, handguns that meet the IPSC rules, larger calibres such as .45 were approved for IPSC handgun shooting contests in Australia in 2014.
- Barrels must be at least 100mm (3.94″) long for revolvers, and 120mm (4.72″) for semi-automatic pistols unless the pistols are clearly ISSF target pistols; magazines are restricted to 10 rounds
About Antique firearms
Certain antique firearms (generally muzzle loading black powder flintlock firearms manufactured before 1 January 1901) can in some states be legally held without a license.
In other states, they are subject to the same requirements as modern firearms.
All single-shot muzzle loading firearms manufactured before January 1st 1901 are considered antique firearms.
Four states require licenses for antique percussion revolvers and cartridge repeating firearms, but in Queensland and Victoria a person may possess such a firearm without a license, so long as the firearm is registered (percussion revolvers require a license in Victoria).
Punishment if caught
If you are found to be in possession of an unlawful/unregistered firearm after the Australian gun amnesty period expires, you can expect to be fined up to $280,000, maximum of 14 years in jail and have a criminal record for life.
My gun history
Personally, I have had a loaded gun pointed at me 3 times, for no other reason than that the idiots were trying to scare me (they succeeded).
I also know innocent people who have been threatened by gun wielding thugs i.e. road rage (over a parking spot of all things) and theft.
Sadly, I know people that have died caused by gunshot wounds (deliberate and accidental).
My question is, why does anyone want the stress and responsibility of owning a gun in Australia, unless they are avid hunters, gun collectors or target shooters and happy to follow all the rules?