Gun owners in NSW have the next three months to hand in unwanted weapons, following the success of last year’s amnesty when nearly 25,000 guns – close to half of the national figure – were handed in. The high demand from constituents prompted the NSW government to repeat the amnesty from July to September. The 2017 gun amnesty netted 24,831 firearms in NSW, about 8000 of which were destroyed. The remainder were either registered and handed back to the owners or sold. Last year’s national amnesty was the first since the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, when then-prime minister John Howard and his deputy Tim Fischer started the controversial but successful buyback scheme and a crackdown on gun ownership. NSW Police Minister Troy Grant praised the brave move and said it was one of Mr Howard’s greatest legacies. "There’s no doubt that in the last 20 years, statistically worldwide, the regime put in place by Mr Howard and Mr Fischer at the time has changed the landscape regarding firearm crime," he said earlier this year. Under the amnesty scheme, residents can now hand in firearms and ammunition to approved drop-off points, which include police stations and gun dealers, with no questions asked. During last year’s national amnesty, some 57,000 weapons were collected, with NSW accounting for more than any other state.