“An admission by Police that it could take three years to retrieve all banned firearms shows the ‘buy-back’ is failing and the Government’s six month timeframe is political theatre”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.

Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement appeared before the Justice Committee this morning and provided an update on the gun ‘buy-back’.

“The Government wants to get this done and dusted before election year, but it’s increasingly clear that the process is a failure that will drag on for years.

“The growing realism by Police is understandable given that its collection rate is actually falling.

“Six days ago, ACT calculated the ‘buy-back’ rate at 129 firearms per event. Now, 19,837 firearms have been handed in at 180 events. That’s just 110 per event.

“There are potentially 220,163 banned firearms still in circulation. Even if it added an additional 200 collection events, Police would need to increase its collection rate by about six times.

“ACT has said since April that the rushed and arrogant approach to firearms legislation and compensation would create animosity and force many guns underground. That is what we are seeing.

“With so few guns being handed in, and Police still updating the list of banned firearms and parts, the Government must take a more considered approach and extend the amnesty beyond 20 December.

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