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National Firearms Amnesty not working


Dear Editor,

Has the stated aim of the National Firearms Amnesty to reduce the number of unregistered guns in Australia had the unwanted result of actually increasing the number of guns in circulation?

Senator Lleyonjhelm, a pro-gun advocate, reported to the gun lobby during the time of the amnesty,”We can be comforted in the knowledge that the Australian people have dumped 25,000 antique, inoperative. neglected. or unwanted firearms on the doorsteps of our law enforcement agencies”.

While unregistered guns handed to the local police station could have been registered at no cost or penalty, and then returned to their licenced owners, the unwanted. illegal firearms were destined to be scrapped and taken out of the market.

With minor variations from one state to another this was the basis of the amnesty. It was a different agreement with a firearm handed in to a gun dealer. This one may have been scrapped, or it could have been registered and returned to its owner for a slight, agreed upon charge. The largely unpublicised alternative was that the firearm was then eligible for sale by the dealer to another recreational shooter as long as he/she agreed to the price and passed minimal licence requirements.

A victory for the Sporting Shooters association of Australia and a bonanza for participating firearms dealers who could have more guns to sell as a result of the current amnesty. Is an unregistered , never used gun hidden in the ceiling more dangerous than when it is dusted down, registered. and sold to an enthusiastic recreational hunter?

Gun dealers, in partnership with the Sporting Shooters Association, promote recreational hunting for all ages at the Narooma HuntFest, and benefit from gun sales, even though such a promotion of animal killing puts the environment and the well-being of our community at risk. Why were gun dealers given such an important role in carrying out an effective gun amnesty when they have a vested interest in the outcome?

The article below from the National Rifle Association on the Sporting Shooters Association web-site congratulated the gun lobby on its success in undermining the 2017 National Firearms Amnesty.

(https://www.nraila.org/articles/20170811/guns-trickle-in-to-australia-turn-in)

Politicians and the media are lulling the public into a false sense of security by ignoring the increasing power of the gun lobby in country shires such as Eurobodalla where the local council continues to disregard the wishes of the electorate by permitting sale of guns at a festival of hunting on crown land in the heart of our beautiful seaside town.

How many guns have come out of retirement to go new owners?

Can the state government continue to ignore the undemocratic actions of the local government and the danger it places on children as young as 12 when they are encouraged to use firearms to kill animals? (The SSAA wants the age lowered still further.)

These are the sorts of changes John Howard is talking about when he warns of the danger of watering down gun laws.Please don’t let it happen to the Nature Coast.

Kind regards,

Susan Cruttenden

Dalmeny. 2546.

#Opinion

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