War weapons, police gun handed into ACT police

Posted September 13, 2017 06:05:53

A Civil War-era rifle, a Queensland Police gun and a German World War I pistol are just some of the hundreds of guns that have been handed over to ACT police in the past two-and-a-half months.

Canberrans have surrendered 318 firearms as of Tuesday as part of a nationwide amnesty that allows people to hand over weapons without repercussion.

While most are common .22 rifles, shotguns or .303 rifles, a few rare and antique firearms have also appeared.

ACT Policing said many had been passed on through deceased estates, and were no longer wanted.

Those weapons included an 1870 Springfield trapdoor rifle with genuine US government markings, produced a few years after the end of the American Civil War.

An 1874 Queensland Police rifle is now being donated back to the Queensland Police Service for historical purposes.

A 1916 Luger, the standard side-arm of the German Army during the latter part of WWI, has also been handed in.

A few more serious weapons have also appeared, including pistols and semi-automatic rifles.

The amnesty has been running since July 1 and is the first since 1996.

The ACT’s 318 guns is considerably less than the 13,468 that had been submitted across the border in NSW up to September 1, but nearly triple the 122 that had turned up in the Northern Territory up to late August.

‘Grey market’ firearms and unwanted hand-me-downs

Many of the firearms are from what is often called the “grey market” — guns that should have been handed in during the 1996 amnesty.

Others have simply been locked up in garages or back sheds for years, either left with deceased estates or found on properties, left by their previous owners.

While the current amnesty is strictly for firearms, some people have sought to hand over a variety of weapons.

ACT Policing said a number of swords had appeared, along with four cross-bows and two spearguns.

The amnesty ends on September 30.

Topics: law-crime-and-justice, act, australia, canberra-2600