Our National Firearms Amnesty is already underway and will run until 30 September 2017.
What is the amnesty?
The amnesty allows you to hand in unregistered firearms with no questions asked. This means you won’t be prosecuted for handing in one or more unregistered firearms. The amnesty may also be used to hand in registered firearms that you no longer want or need. You can hand in as many registered or unregistered firearms as you like.
What does it aim to achieve?
Its aim is to improve public safety by reducing the number of unregistered firearms across the country. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission currently estimates that there are more than 260,000 unregistered firearms on the illicit firearms market.
What protection does the amnesty give me?
The amnesty provides protection from prosecution if you are in possession of an unregistered firearm for the purpose of handing it in under state or territory amnesty arrangements. So, if you were pulled over by police on the way to an appointment to hand in an unregistered firearm, you would not be prosecuted for possessing that firearm.
However if police searched your house and discovered an unregistered firearm, you could be prosecuted for possessing that firearm because you were arguably not intending to hand it in.
In NSW all firearms must be registered (with a few minor exceptions for antique and imitation firearms). Serious penalties apply if you are found in possession of an unregistered firearm outside the amnesty provisions. If the firearm concerned is a pistol or prohibited firearm, the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment. Other firearms attract a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. In addition, you may be subject to a criminal record and a large fine.
To find out more information about the amnesty, costs and hand-in arrangements go to https://firearmsamnesty.ag.gov.au/Pages/New-south-wales.aspx#_What_happens_if
Please note that this is not legal advice and should you have any questions or concerns about unregistered firearms, you should seek professional legal assistance.
Image: The Hilltops Phoenix