Police Union Has Doubts About Gun Amnesty
Does it go far enough?
The Queensland Police Union believes a national gun amnesty is a step in the right direction, but President Ian Leavers says he'd be "shocked" if hardened criminals and organised crime syndicates turned up to drop off their weapons.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan announced on Friday that Australia's first national gun amnesty since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 would begin on July 1, and run for three months. It comes in the wake of the death of Toowoomba police officer Brett Forte, who was killed on the job at the hands of a career criminal, with an illegal firearm.
It's not a 'cash for guns' scheme, instead people are being urged to hand in any illegal firearms at their local police station, no questions asked.
Speaking to Channel 9, President Leavers says it won't work without sweeteners, like a buy back offer.
"We do encourage people to bring them in. The only concern we do have is [about] those hardened criminals, I'll be surprised if they turned up at a police station with their semi-automatic or automatic firearms," he said.
"I'd be shocked if they handed those firearms in."
The government estimates there are 260,000 illegal guns in the community.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan believes Australia's national security environment is deteriorating.
"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.
"The danger there is that there might be a circumstance where the wrong person - a criminal, a terrorist - might get their hands on those guns."
If you want more information about the amnesty, head to the Australian Government website.