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Decades after Firearm Confiscation, Australia Announces New Amnesty Program

Friday, March 10, 2017

Decades after Firearm Confiscation, Australia Announces New Amnesty Program

In a tacit admission that criminals and scofflaws have had little trouble circumventing Australia’s National Firearms Agreement (NFA) and the government’s confiscation effort, Australian officials have set a date for another firearms amnesty program. The program is set to begin in July and last for three months. Despite offering no compensation for surrendered firearms, government officials hope that the plan will net 260,000 of an estimated 600,000 illegally possessed guns.

In 1996, following a high-profile shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia’s states and territories adopted the federal NFA. The agreement set up stringent licensing requirements to possess firearms, requiring license applicants provide a “genuine reason” for owning a firearm; the agreement made clear that personal protection was not a genuine reason. The measure also targeted several types of commonly-owned firearms, and included a near total ban on civilian ownership of semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns.

To coincide with the new restrictions, the government provided a firearms amnesty and compensation program. Through a massive public education campaign, gun owners were warned that they were required to turn their newly-prohibited firearms over to the government for a set price. Incorrectly called a “buy-back” by some U.S. politicians, as the NFA did not grandfather the possession of firearms owned prior to the new restrictions, the ban and amnesty amounted to gun confiscation.

In announcing the new federal amnesty program, Justice Minister Michael Keenan told the Sunday Mail, “This is the first Australia wide gun amnesty since 1996, when the Howard government took action following the devastation of the Port Arthur Massacre,” but acknowledged, “there have been state-based amnesties over that time.”

In fact, according to research conducted by University of Sydney Professor Philip Alpers, from 1987 to 2015, there were 41 (38 state and 3 federal) firearm amnesties of various durations in Australia. Alpers calculated the total number of firearms turned in to various authorities over this period at roughly 1.1 million.

Implementation of yet another amnesty is a broad acknowledgement of the futility of Australia’s gun control regime and amnesty programs. Further, more sophisticated analyses have also revealed the ineffectiveness of the country’s previous turn-in efforts.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice reviewed the available research on Australia’s NFA firearm confiscation program and issued a memorandum that concluded that the effort had no effect on crime generally. In coming to this determination, the memorandum cited work from University of Maryland Professor Peter Reuter and Jenny Mouzos, aptly titled, “Australia: A Massive Buyback of Low-Risk Guns.” The NIJ memo made clear that the researchers “found no effect on crime.”

Given that turn-in programs do not reduce crime, some might wonder why Australia would once again embark on such a pointless endeavor. However, Keenan was kind enough to provide the Sunday Mail with the government’s rationale, explaining, “This is as much about giving a family a chance to get rid of an old heirloom as it is about getting rid of guns off our streets.”

With refreshing candor, the Australian government has admitted that its intent with the new amnesty is to disarm the otherwise law-abiding who are not in total compliance with Australia’s onerous gun control regime. This pursuit of unregistered heirlooms and family keepsakes will no doubt have an effect on violent crime similar to that of previous amnesties; none.

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Dick’s Spends Big on Gun-Chopping, Virtue-Signaling Bonanza (But It Will Still Sell You a Firearm)

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Dick’s Spends Big on Gun-Chopping, Virtue-Signaling Bonanza (But It Will Still Sell You a Firearm)

Ed Stack, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, wants you to know he’s committed to keeping AR-15s “off the street.” But he’s also committed (for the time being) to selling other types of firearms.

California: Anti-Gun and Anti-Hunting Bill Signed into Law

Monday, October 14, 2019

California: Anti-Gun and Anti-Hunting Bill Signed into Law

Prior to the October 13 deadline, Governor Newsom signed the final anti-gun and anti-hunting bills, AB 1254 and SB 172 into law.  

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills into Law

Friday, October 11, 2019

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills into Law

Earlier today, Governor Newsom signed the seven anti-gun bills listed below into law.  

Number of Concealed Carry Permit Holders Increased Again

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Number of Concealed Carry Permit Holders Increased Again

Last week, economist John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center released “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2019,” his annual report on the number of concealed carry permit holders in the U.S.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA-ILA Fighting the Bloomberg Money In Virginia 2019 Elections

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA-ILA Fighting the Bloomberg Money In Virginia 2019 Elections

The Nov. 5th election may be the most consequential ever for our Second Amendment rights in the Commonwealth. That’s because every seat in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate is up for grabs and gun control ...

Virginia’s Anti-gun Politicians Put Politics Before Fighting Gun Crime

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Virginia’s Anti-gun Politicians Put Politics Before Fighting Gun Crime

Virginia’s anti-gun politicians are serious about attacking law-abiding gun owners, but are indifferent about actual gun crime. As highlighted in a recent report in the Washington Free Beacon by Stephen Gutowski, the Virginia Department of Justice Services ...

Illinois: Task Force May Ponder More Gun Control

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Illinois: Task Force May Ponder More Gun Control

The Illinois House Firearm Public Awareness Task Force is scheduled to meet on October 16, 2019. The task force could potentially make policy recommendations with various gun control schemes. %MCEPASTEBIN%

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

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Friday, August 2, 2019

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the two-dozen Democrat presidential hopefuls vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020, has been promoting her anti-gun platform for many months. This isn’t really news, as ...

Member Spotlight: Meet the Police Officer Who Told Congress She ‘Would Not Comply' with a Gun Ban

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Friday, October 4, 2019

Member Spotlight: Meet the Police Officer Who Told Congress She ‘Would Not Comply' with a Gun Ban

Last week, a retired Tulsa, Oklahoma law enforcement officer testified in a Congressional hearing that she “would not comply” if Congress passes a ban on firearms. Her bold assertion earned her national media attention and ...

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NRA ILA

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.