Government must slow down and extend gun amnesty

Fri, 06 Sep, 2019

“148 days since the Arms Amendment Act was signed into law, and just a few months until the end of the firearms amnesty, Police are still working out which firearms and parts should be banned”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.

An updated list of prohibited guns was issued by Police yesterday, with at least 100 new items added since June.

“The Government’s legislation and process for compiling the price list was so rushed that Police are having to make it up as they go.

“If the Government and National had taken more than nine days to pass such complex legislation, we wouldn’t be in this situation.

“Also concerning is the low ‘buy-back’ rate. 15,276 firearms have been handed in at 118 collection events. That’s just 129 guns per event on average and some of these firearms weren’t even banned by April’s legislation.

“At least 234,724 prohibited firearms are still in circulation. Assuming Police add another 200 collection events, 775 firearms need to be collected at each event, a 6-fold increase in the current rate.

“ACT has said from the start that the Government’s rushed and arrogant approach to firearms legislation and compensation would see many guns go underground and that is what we are seeing.

“With so few firearms being handed in, and Police struggling to work out what is and isn’t banned, the Government must now take a more considered approach and extended the amnesty beyond 20 December.

“If the Government keeps to its deadline despite it becoming abundantly clear that it is inappropriate, we can only conclude that the gun ‘buy-back’ is political theatre.”