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Australia’s anti-gun policy

Since the Las Vegas shooting, many gun opponents have pointed to Australia’s radical law banning all guns.  After a mass shooting in 1996, the government

The Washington Post said:

It wasn’t only the gun owners who had something to complain about. The banned guns were not confiscated. They were “bought back.” An extra 0.2 percent levy on national health insurance was used to finance the National Firearms Buyback Program to compensate the gun owners for the banned weapons that were surrendered.

Trigger warning for any National Rifle Association (NRA) members: 660,959 firearms were duly handed in. They were then destroyed.

Despite all that, Fischer remained deputy prime minister and leader of the Nationals. John Howard, the conservative prime minister who led the coalition of which Fisher was the junior partner, went on to win four terms in office — becoming Australia’s second-longest-serving leader.

Reuters reported:

Australians turned in 51,000 illegal firearms, ranging from 19th-century weapons to a rocket launcher, during a three-month amnesty that ended on Friday, and which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said had helped avert Las Vegas-style mass shootings.

The firearms gathered in this year’s amnesty will be destroyed. Those who still own such guns face jail time, and the government is pushing for harsher penalties for gun traffickers.

The measures provoked opposition from gun owners, in particular farmers, but has since mostly vanished, because Australia’s rules are seen to have worked.

“You can’t just buy a gun,” said Phillip Alpers, a firearms injury researcher at the University of Sydney, adding that potential purchasers faced a full background check by police.

“They will ask you for a genuine reason for owning a firearm,” he added. “If you can’t (provide one), you won’t get the gun.”

Australia’s few gun stores are heavily regulated, in contrast with the United States, where ammunition and weapons are sold at chain stores, such as Walmart.


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