Citation(s) from the literature library

Alpers, Philip. 2013 ‘The Big Melt: How One Democracy Changed after Scrapping a Third of Its Firearms - Destruction of Firearms.’ Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis; Part IV, Chapter 16, p. 206. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 25 January

Relevant contents

Destruction of Firearms

According to articles in the print media published during the twenty-four years that followed [1988-2012], we know that 38 state, territory, and federal firearm amnesties ran for a minimum combined total of 3,062 weeks.

From the reports in which numbers were published, a total of 948,388 firearms were surrendered to police for destruction. Of these, 67,488 (7.1%) were collected before the federal long-gun buyback which followed the 1996 Port Arthur tragedy.

In the 1996–97 National Firearms Buyback of rapid-fire long guns (mainly semi-automatic rifles but also self-loading and pump-action shotguns) and in the 2003 National Handgun Buyback which followed, Australians gave up for destruction 728,667 newly prohibited firearms in return for market-value compensation…

At least 219,721 additional firearms were surrendered for destruction - a number which until now has been untallied and largely unrecognized.

Although the Australian initiative was most often described as a "buyback" in which gun owners received cash compensation, of all the weapons handed in for destruction since 1988, nearly one in four yielded no financial return to its owner (Alpers and Wilson 2013).

Such was the swing in public opinion that large numbers of gun owners sent lawfully held firearms to the smelter, even when there was no obligation to do so.

Source cited:
Alpers, Philip and Marcus Wilson. 2013. Australian Firearm Amnesty, Buyback and Destruction Totals: Official tallies and media-reported numbers, 1987-2012. Sydney:, Sydney School of Public Health. Accessed 10 January.

ID: Q6568

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