Amnesty nets guns, ex­plo­sives cache

Bangkok Post - - WORLD -

SYD­NEY: A bat­tery of ex­plo­sives, gun­pow­der and det­o­na­tors have been handed to po­lice un­der an amnesty in Aus­tralia, along with 26,000 firearms as au­thor­i­ties work to re­move il­licit weapons from the streets.

An amnesty was in­tro­duced by New South Wales state i n March, al­low­ing peo­ple to turn over any com­mer­cial ex­plo­sives with no ques­tions asked to stop them fall­ing into the hands of crim­i­nals and home­grown ji­hadis.

With one week l eft, counter-ter­ror­ism po­lice said the re­sponse had been en­cour­ag­ing.

“More than five months into the amnesty and there has been a wide va­ri­ety of ex­plo­sives sur­ren­dered, but we’re sure there’s more out there,” said Mick Willing, head of the NSW counter-ter­ror­ism and spe­cial tac­tics com­mand.

Among the cache is more than 146kg of ex­plo­sives, over 20kg of gun­pow­der and thou­sands of det­o­na­tors and safety fuses.

“This is a great re­sult, and shows Aus­tralians are se­ri­ous about pro­tect­ing them­selves, their fam­i­lies, and their com­mu­ni­ties,” said Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Keenan.

“As we know, just one firearm in the wrong hands can be deadly.”

Among the more un­usual items handed in was a circa 1856 Beau­mont Adams re­volver, a World War I-era Lee En­field ri­fle and two WWII US M1 car­bines.

The gun amnesty runs for an­other three weeks.

The gov­ern­ment be­lieves there are as many as 260,000 il­licit weapons on the streets, and with the threat of ex­trem­ist at­tacks and a spate of re­cent gang­land shoot­ings, it wants to min­imise the danger.

Aus­tralian of­fi­cials have grown in­creas­ingly con­cerned over the threat of ex­trem­ist at­tacks and have pre­vented 13 on home soil since 2014.

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