Let’s Find Out the True State of Our Gun Laws
Our gun laws are being eroded. Politicians have done deals with the gun lobby. Gun Control Australia wants to find out the true state of our gun laws. We need your help
A little bit of context
On 28 April 1996, a lone gun man armed with high-powered firearms opened fire at the historic site of Port Arthur in Tasmania, killing 35 people, wounding 19 others and traumatising so many more.
In response to this massacre Australian leaders developed a bipartisan firearms agreement to implement strong national uniform gun laws. This agreement is known as the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).
The NFA included: a national firearm licensing and registration system, criminal record checks, safety requirement for the storage of firearms, banning of high-powered longarms.
Each state and territory amended its own firearm legislation to reflect the resolutions contained in the NFA, while the commonwealth banned the importation of high-powered longarms.
In Australia there are nine separate pieces of firearm legislation that govern the regulation of firearms. Each state and territory has its own laws.
Following the strengthening of our gun laws, Australia developed a reputation as the country that heroically stood up for public safety by making gun ownership to be a privilege and not a right – saying no to an “American gun culture”.
Our strong stance on guns has meant there are now young people in Australia that have never had to wake-up to the news of an Australian gun massacre. Since Port Arthur Australia has never experienced another gun massacre and the total number of gun deaths has fallen from about 600 in the early 1990s to now fewer than 250.
But there’s a problem
Over twenty years has passed since that Agreement was signed and our strong gun laws are being weakened.
Twenty years on and the political climate has changed.
As political commitment to strong gun laws weaken the gun lobby has been able to do deals to weaken our gun laws.
There has been a steady rise in pro gun representatives being elected to state and federal parliaments, and large donations being directed by the gun lobby to political parties.
Our elected officials have done deals with the gun lobby and allowed our gun laws to be eaten away.
Incrementally each state and territory has weakened its gun laws by:
- introducing shooting in national parks
- deleting police checks for second and subsequent guns
- allowing general access to silencers to recreational and sporting shooters
- allowing shooting in gun clubs without a gun licence
- allowing general access to rapid-style firearm (8 shot Adler A110).
Samantha Lee, Chair of Gun Control Australia (GCA) states, “We fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
We know that each jurisdiction has amended its gun laws in different ways and at different times. But we just don’t know the extent of these changes nor the impact the changes may be having on community safety.
This is where you can help. Gun Control Australia wants to find out the true state of our gun laws.
Here’s what we’re doing about it
We are going to conduct a national audit of our gun laws.
We are going to do something governments have failed to do – find out the true impact the deals with the gun lobby are having on public safety.
The true impact such deals have had on the regulation of firearms in your jurisdiction.
We will audit the nine different pieces of gun legislation (State and Territories and Commonwealth) and find out just how far the laws have moved away from the NFA.
We will find out just how much community safety has been compromised in order to appease the desires of the gun lobby.
But we need your help.
You can join us
GCA operates on the generosity of donors and the organisation is staffed by all volunteers.
Your donation will enable an audit into the true state of our gun laws. The audit will cost $12,000 and will be completed by July 2017. It will tell us how each jurisdiction is in breach of the NFA.
The $12,000 we pay for a researcher to collate all the relevant gun legislation and compare this legislation to the NFA. A comprehensive report will then be prepared outlining the anomalies in our gun laws.
The findings from the report will be shared with you and the public.
It will be an invaluable and powerful resource in finding out just where the problems are with our gun laws and just what politicians need to do to fix them.
For more info and to become a GCA supporter please visit guncontrolaustralia.org
We need your help. Please donate now.