Justice Minister Michael Keenan has announced Australia’s first gun amnesty since Port Arthur.
The national amnesty, which will run for three months from July 1, will allow people to hand over illegal guns without being prosecuted for having them.
Police believe there are over 260,000 illegal guns currently in Australia.
In a statement to the press, the Justice Minister said the aim of the Amnesty is to keep guns out of terrorist hands.
“We’ve got an environment where there has been five terrorists attacks on our soil and sadly in the vast majority of those cases it has been an illegal firearm that’s been used.” He said.
“This is an opportunity for people to present the guns to authorities, no questions asked and with no penalty…. If people don’t take that opportunity, the penalties for owning an unregistered or illegal gun in Australia are very severe.”
This will be the first major gun amnesty since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, where gunman Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured 23 others.