National Firearms Amnesty
The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA), recognises that:
- In November 2019 the former COAG Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management reached an agreement to implement an Australia-wide permanent firearms amnesty.
- Under the Australian Constitution, the states and territories have primary responsibility for the management of firearms in Australia.
- The Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group (FWPWG) brings together firearm registry managers and policy representatives from all jurisdictions and is accountable for delivering national consistency in firearm regulation.
- The one and only purpose of a firearms amnesty is to increase public safety by removing unregistered and illicit firearms from the community.
- SIFA research has confirmed that the model of amnesty chosen by the individual jurisdiction impacts the overall success of the initiative with the least restrictive models responsible for collecting higher amounts of illicit and unregistered firearms.
- Previous amnesties have demonstrated that 65% of people surrendering firearms preferred to do so via a licensed firearms dealer rather than via a law enforcement officer.
- Governments’ must not assume that licensed firearms dealers will support an amnesty at their own expense and for no commercial benefit. It is not the job of licensed firearms dealers to accept, check, record, and transport firearms to Police.
- SIFA strongly supports the introduction of any permanent firearms amnesty which is optimised towards the removal as many illicit and unregistered firearms from the community as possible.
- To achieve the maximum success of a firearms amnesty, the process must include the already established and trusted licensed firearm dealer network who have the knowledge and systems in place to effectively administer an amnesty.
- Firearms amnesty regulation must not remove incentives for participation such as the ability to register and/or commercially transact in surrendered firearms.
- To conserve front line Police resources, policy should ensure that firearms be surrendered to licensed firearms dealers, rather than Police Stations.
- Governments implementing firearms amnesty regulation must not place unnecessary requirements or conditions on the surrender or illicit or unregistered firearms.