In Australia today, it appears that if you ban the legal ownership of most firearms, the only people who end up with guns are criminals. Who would have thought?

While some states are pushing heavy gun control measures leading up to the November elections, the government of Australia has admitted that hundreds of thousands of “illegal firearms” remain in criminal possession despite massive gun seizures and highly restrictive laws regulating gun ownership.

According to this story from, the government has launched a new amnesty program in the home of persuading criminals to turn in their guns.

We reported in September that there has been an average of one shooting per week in one of the country’s largest cities, Melbourne, and that black market guns are regularly smuggled into the country illegally.

According to numbers reported by The Age, the problem is getting worse. Known criminals were caught with firearms 755 times in 2015, compared to 143 times in 2011. The story says criminals are using gunshot wounds to the arms and legs as warnings to pay debts and that assault rifles and handguns are being smuggled into the country in shipments of electronics and machine parts.

This story from Reuters reports that an amnesty will be put in place in 2017 where those in possession of weapons that have been banned for 20 years can turn them in with no questions asked.

“The amnesty will provide an opportunity for those individuals who, for whatever reason are in possession on an unregistered firearm, to hand it in without fear of being prosecuted,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan said in the story. “While Australia has some of the strongest firearm controls in the world, illicit firearms remain the weapon of choice for criminals.”

On at least one occasion, democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has publicly used Australia’s gun control policies as an example to strive for in the United States.