The Courier-Mail

Permanent national gun amnesty to start in 2020

- CLAIRE BICKERS

GUN owners will be able to hand in their weapons, no questions asked, from next year, when Australia launches a national continuous gun amnesty.

All states and territorie­s agreed to the first-ever continuous nationwide amnesty yesterday at a meeting of police and emergency services ministers in Adelaide.

More than 57,000 weapons, including automatic rifles, handguns and a rocket launcher were handed in when Australia held just a three-month amnesty in 2017 – the first since immediatel­y after the Port Arthur massacre.

Federal Assistant Minister for Community Safety Jason Wood said a continuous gun amnesty would get more weapons off the streets.

“It’s very important to keep firearms out of the family home if they’re not used anymore, and to keep them out of the hands of criminals,” he said.

Mr Wood, a former police officer, said the firearms industry and anti-gun lobby had been supportive of an amnesty in his talks with them.

It is anticipate­d the initiative will be launched in the second half of 2020, but details of how it will work are still to be confirmed.

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