Thousands of guns handed over in Australia amnesty

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SYDNEY: More than 6,000 guns have been surrendered in Australia’s most populous state in just one month, police said on Tuesday, after fears of terrorism and an influx of illegal firearms sparked a national amnesty. Among the weapons handed over in New South Wales were four SKS assault rifles, a 9mm homemade sub-machine gun, a Colt AR-15 rifle, M1 carbine and a .44 caliber magnum revolver, state police said. In total, some 1,700 rifles, 460 shotguns and nearly 200 handguns were surrendered to police and dealers, while thousands of others were handed in for registration. Police said they also received more than 110 prohibited weapons including samurai swords, knives, and other edged weapons. The amnesty runs from July 1 until September 30, allowing people to hand in unregistered or unwanted firearms with no questions asked. Outside that period people face fines of up to Aus$280,000 (US$222,000) or 14 years’ jail. The government said in June it believed there were as many as 260,000 illicit weapons on the streets, and with the threat of extremist attacks and a spate of gangland shootings, it wanted to minimize the danger.

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AFP

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