Tasmanian gun amnesty drive: 50 firearms surrendered

Single-shot air rifles and .22s dominate the haul

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Tasmania Police firearms amnesty

After a number of firearm-related incidents in Northern Tasmania, the police in the region actively promoted the state’s ongoing gun amnesty, resulting in 50 weapons being surrendered over the weekend. 

Police said a further 10 were expected to be handed in this week. 

As well as the firearms, the amnesty netted about 40kg of ammunition. 

Only 10 of the 50 firearms were registered, and all were scheduled for destruction. 

This comes on top of 19 illegal firearms seized during recent police operations. 

Police said the amnesty drive in the north of the state was a response to recent incidents in the region involving firearms.

Addition venues at which to surrender firearms were provided for the duration of the drive. 

Similar events are planned for other parts of the state in coming months, although the state’s permanent amnesty still allows people to hand in firearms at a police station as long as they make an appointment first.   

Photos showing approximately half of the haul suggest the guns were primary old break-action air rifles and bolt-action .22s. Some break-action shotguns were present.

A sawn-off .22 was also handed in. 

The list included a “World War 2 pistol” and a “military style rifle with a bayonet,” according to the police statement.

Police could not confirm to Straight Shooting the make or model of the pistol, although photos show what appears to be a French or Belgian 19th Century solid-frame revolver.

The rifle with bayonet appears to be a Mosin-Nagant M44 bolt-action rifle.

“Any illicit firearm is a concern to Tasmania Police,” Inspector Scott Flude said. “Firearms in the wrong hands are dangerous and are of utmost concern to police.”

In comments to The Examiner, he acknowledged that most of the firearms were ones that owners simply “hadn’t bothered to register” but added that amnesty drives usually netted “three or four firearms that are of interest” to police.  

Alistair Shephard of the Shooters Union in Tasmanian said there was “nothing particularly controversial” about the drive, and he referred to the result as being mostly “manky old .22s”.

“No one’s handing in anything good, let’s face it,” he said.

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