Northern Territory begins three-month firearms amnesty

The Northern Territory government has implemented a three-month amnesty for residents to hand in any illegal or unlicensed firearms that may be in their possession. The initiative came into operation on July 1 and Territorians have until September 30 to comply, with no questions asked.

“The Northern Territory maintains an informal amnesty at all times; however, this three-month period means anybody can arrange for their firearm or other weapons to be handed in, without fear of incrimination,” said Police Minister Peter Chandler in a statement.

SSAA Darwin branch president Andrew Armstrong only recently became aware of the amnesty, but saw the proposal as a welcome move. “As far I knew, we thought there was a sort of year-round amnesty anyway,” said Andrew.

He went on to explain his interpretation of the laws. “Sometimes you come across people who inherit certain things and don’t really know what to do with them, so we have shared advice in the past,” he said. “I have also been there on occasions when gun dealers have been able to give their advice on matters.

“It’s better that everything is made clear because we don’t want things to be left in the dark.”

In the NT, any person found with an unlawful firearm faces a 10-year jail term or can be hit with a fine of $306,000.

For further information about the firearms amnesty, including how to relinquish unwanted firearms, contact the Northern Territory Police on 131 444.

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