Nationwide Firearms Turn-in Not Enough for Australia’s Gun Haters

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Nationwide Firearms Turn-in Not Enough for Australia’s Gun Haters
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Fairfax, VA – -( On July 1, Australia begins National Firearms Amnesty 2017, the country’s fourth federal firearms buyback (more accurately termed turn-in) or amnesty program since 1987.

According to the Australian government, officials hope to capture some of the country’s estimated 260,000 unregistered firearms. The Australian government has also cited the threat of terrorism, and in particular the December 2014 siege on the Lindt Café in Sydney, as justification for the new turn-in. The amnesty period runs to September 30.

Unlike the confiscatory scheme that followed Australia’s 1996 National Firearms Agreement, which banned most ownership of semi-automatic and pump action rifles and shotguns, the 2017 amnesty is not coupled to any new restrictions on the types of firearms an individual may own. Further, under the current amnesty, firearm owners will not receive any compensation for the firearms they relinquish. To participate in the amnesty, gun owners will have to bring their unregistered firearms to a drop-off point designated by state and territorial authorities.

In an improvement over the 1997 confiscatory turn-in, gun owners in many cases will be able to choose the final disposition of their unregistered firearms. An individual that has an irrational animus towards guns can choose to have their former firearm destroyed. Those turning in firearms eligible to enter the lawful stream of commerce may also be able to sell the firearm to a licensed dealer.

Firearms license holders who turn over a firearm they are eligible to own will be allowed to register and retain possession of their gun. Of course, given Australian history, some gun owners might prove justifiably reluctant to make the government aware of their unregistered arms, lest they be targeted in some future confiscation effort.

[To learn more about the details of Australia’s National Firearms Amnesty, including the specific rules for each state and territory, visit]

In the U.S., researchers and gun rights advocates have long agreed that turn-ins are ineffective policy. This fact is not lost on all Australian politicians. Liberal Democrat Senator from New South Wales David Leyonjelm, recently said of the 2017 amnesty, “It’s purely for appearance purposes. It won’t do anything to address guns on the street, they’ll end up with grandma’s rusty old shotgun or rifle. Which was never going to be used in crime in the first place.”

However, that the current amnesty provides an avenue for some unwanted and illegally held firearms to re-enter the lawful stream of commerce is a minor beacon of common sense in Australia’s otherwise misguided gun policy. The Australian government did not come to this sensible policy on its own. According to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia lobbied the government for this measure.

Of course, this minor concession to reason has been attacked by Australia’s anti-gun community.

In a radio interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Gun Control Australia Vice-President Roland Browne lamented that some illegally held firearms might find their way into the hands of licensed gun owners. T

he gun control lobby representative told the interviewer, “This amnesty started off as a public safety measure. In fact, in reality, it is appearing now to be a profit-making venture for firearms dealers.” According to Browne, the ability to move illegally held firearms into the hands of law-abiding gun owners undermines “the integrity of the registration system,” and he would rather “take these guns out of circulation.”

Australia’s experience with gun control continues to provide important lessons for American gun owners. In the end, the gun control movement is not about getting guns out of “the wrong hands,” or banning certain types of firearms. Despite repeated national turn-ins, gun registration, background checks, gun owner licensing, a ban on semi-automatic and pump-action rifles and shotguns, and the abolition of gun ownership for the purpose of self-defense, groups like Gun Control Australia continue to target Australia’s law-abiding gun owners. Gun Control Australia’s response to the 2017 National Firearms Amnesty further proves that as long as there remain firearms in the hands of private citizens, gun control advocates will continue to work towards their goal of total civilian disarmament.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

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Christopher Eller

Notice how they always have great programs to disarm law abiding citizens first.

Gun Control Freaks, if you want to impress us, show us how to disarm all the bad guys FIRST and then you can come to us and talk about disarming us before we tell you “No.”

David C. Telliho

Decades ago,an Aussie explained to me that they didn`t have a 2nd Amendment to protect their firearm ownership. OK,said I. Why not get one ? That drew a smirk & a shrug. It reminds me somewhat of us to-day. All these ‘town hall meetings ought to include some intelligent discourse on the undeniable right to own a firearm, and carry one.


I have great respect for Australian’s and there country but there politicians are just as ignorant and naïve as we have here in the U.S. It would seem that the history of fire arm confiscation by governments has taught them nothing or maybe it has .Disarm the people , make them helpless against a tyrannical government …………

Silence Dogood

Patrick, “…ignorant and naïve…”. Not a chance, you need to call out evil no matter where it infests. Gun-Haters are evil, plain and simple.


But, but, but they are trying to stop jihadists from committing mass murder………………at least until they learn how to build pressure cooker bombs, drive trucks or use basic kitchen cutlery.

Silence Dogood

Evil is…as evil does!


In Europe, the majority of the countries were kingdoms or a fiefdom of some type in which the person in power provided protection for the citizens/serfs who lived on his property or under his influence. The U.S. is completely different in that we still don’t believe that the people in power can protect us from “things that go bump in the night”. Australians are still a completely different lot where much like America where the people who live in “fly-over country” know that if they surrender their guns, they are defenseless against both two-legged and four-legged criminals. But, the big… Read more »


Well put. When it comes to self preservation there’s much to be said for civil disobedience.

Wild Bill

, Well said. I note that in Europe, the kings and other so called royalty were the ones with the weapons, and the ones with no weapons shoveled sh!t under the king’s “influence”.


I am sure the terrorist they are after will run down and turn their weapons in, because it is the right thing to do. Yeah RIGHT! If you believe that you live in La La Land.

Joe Martin

Sounds like the idiots in charge in Australia are even more stupid than their American counterparts (Democrats). How many times do Muslims have to kill Australian citizens before the government (elected idiots and appointed bureaucrats) realize the citizens need to be able to protect themselves?

Silence Dogood

Joe Martin, “idiots”. “stupid” totally the wrong language. The Left has controlled the dialogue for too long. Use the correct term; evil. idiots and stupid can be medicated. Evil needs to be destroyed. Control the language and you control the debate. Argue smarter than the Gun-Haters and you’ll make all of us look better and we will prevail over the evil ones.


Unfortunately the idiots in charge are running both our major parties. One guy put it best in the lead up to the last election that it’s the choice between dissentry and diahrea.