In 1996, a man walked into a tourist resort in Tasmania, Australia, and shot 35 people dead, wounding 23 others. Known as the Port Arthur Massacre, it was the deadliest mass shooting in Australian history and forever changed the country’s relationship with guns, leading to laws that heavily restricted their purchase and ownership. On Thursday, Australian authorities announced that 57,000 firearms were turned in last year during the country’s first guns amnesty since the 1996 massacre, which allowed people to hand in illegal, unregistered firearms without fear of prosecution. The guns were then either destroyed or properly registered. “Taking these unregistered firearms off the streets means they will not fall into the hands of criminals, who might use them to endanger the lives of innocent Australians,” said Law Enforcement Minister Angus Taylor. Among the returned firearms were 2,500 automatic weapons, 2,900 handguns, and one rocket launcher.
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