What is a gun amnesty?

Justice Minister Michael Keenan’s announcement last week that the federal government would introduce the first national gun amnesty since 1996 has been widely reported. But what exactly is a gun amnesty, and why has the government decided to introduce one now?

What is a gun amnesty?

A gun amnesty is a period of non-prosecution that allows people to surrender their unwanted or unregistered firearms without fear of legal repercussions. This differs from a “gun buyback” where the government compensates gun owners for the surrender of firearms, though the two have previously run concurrently.