Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive
Gun Law Rebels Cave In to Howard
An outside perspective on the Australian battle for new gun laws
New Zealand Herald
23 July 1996
Australia will get its tough new gun laws - outlawing most rapid-fire and military-style firearms - following the capitulation yesterday of three rebel governments.
Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory gave in to the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, and abandoned demands that the law allow modification of pump-action shotguns to limit their magazine capacity. This process - crimping - was the final sticking point in the package of national gun laws negotiated since 35 died in the Port Arthur massacre.
Until last week, when Mr Howard warned that he would put the issue to a national referendum if the rebels did not fall into line, governments in Brisbane, Perth and Darwin had been urging compromise with the gun lobby, which had threatened political retaliation in vulnerable rural seats.
Yesterday's decisions meant that for the first time every state and territory will have identical laws restricting ownership and access to firearms, and a system of computerised data-swapping to keep nation-wide track of licensed owners and registered weapons.
The new laws will ban military-style assault rifles of the kind used at Port Arthur and all other self-loading centre-fire rifles, self-loading and pump-action shotguns, and self-loading rim-fire rifles…