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Firearm News

Australia

Howard Vows Firm Stand Against Gun Law Changes

9 March 1998

Sydney Morning Herald

The Prime Minister yesterday rejected any moves to water down the uniform gun laws introduced two years ago after the Port Arthur massacre. Mr Howard said in Sydney that both he and his Government were committed to the national firearms agreement made after the 1996 shootings, in which 35 people died. "My Government remains absolutely committed to the full maintenance throughout Australia, without qualification, of the agreement concluded between the governments of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Australia

Call for Victoria Govt to Scrap Planned Gun Law Changes

8 March 1998

ABC News (Australia) / Reuters

Members of the Coalition for Gun Control and church leaders rallied on the steps of Victoria's Parliament House calling on the State Government to scrap proposed changes to its gun laws. The planned amendments include reducing the cooling off period for owners buying a second firearm, as well as extending sporting shooters' rights to own semi-automatics. Walter Mikac, whose wife and daughters died in the Port Arthur massacre, has repeated his condemnation of the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: ABC News (Australia) / Reuters

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Australia

Howard 'Over Top' on Gun Reform

8 March 1998

Sunday Age (Melbourne)

Prime Minister John Howard's reaction to the Port Arthur massacre had been "over the top", the chairman of the Victorian National Party's firearms taskforce claimed last week. Mr Don Kilgour, the National Party MP for Shepparton, said banning five-shot shotguns had been excessive and that "most of the blokes who are upset have had five-shot autos". Mr Kilgour headed the firearms taskforce that advised Victoria's Police Minister, Mr Bill McGrath, on changes to the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sunday Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Guns for Votes Not On: Senator

7 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

The federal Justice Minister, Senator Amanda Vanstone, left the way open for fine tuning of the national firearms agreement yesterday but said she had no intention of allowing it to be diluted to win rural votes. Victoria has introduced legislation that allows police to exempt gun owners from a 28-day cooling-off period before buying a weapon, allows people to carry and use guns in towns and promotes shooting as a sport. Senator Vanstone met Victoria's Police... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Australian PM Pledges No Easing of Gun Laws

7 March 1998

Reuters

SYDNEY — Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Sunday pledged to defend his tough national gun laws against campaigns by two state governments to water them down. "My government remains absolutely committed to the full maintenance throughout Australia, without qualification, of the agreement concluded between the governments of Australia in 1996 regarding the use of firearms," Howard told a Sydney gathering to mark International Women's Day. Howard forced state... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Reuters

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Australia

Kennett Attacks Walter Mikac on Gun Control

6 March 1998

Australian (Sydney)

Victorian Police Minister Bill McGrath has called on the Federal Government to review national gun laws in the wake of controversial State proposals for a raft of changes to the code. As debate over the changes intensified yesterday, Premier Jeff Kennett attacked Port Arthur victim and gun control advocate Walter Mikac for being "impolite", and Mr McGrath dismissed criticism of the Victorian reforms as "misinformed". Detailing eight legislative amendments, Mr McGrath... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Australian (Sydney)

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Australia

State Gun Laws Trigger Conflict

6 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

The [Victoria] State Government yesterday called for a review of Australia's firearms agreement as the Premier, Mr Jeff Kennett, launched a surprising attack on anti-guns campaigner Mr Walter Mikac, describing him as impolite. The Police Minister, Mr Bill McGrath, said Australia's firearms agreement needed to be reviewed, in the same way all legislation needed to be re-examined from time to time. His call came after critics accused the Government of trying to water... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

States Weaken on Australia's New Gun Laws

5 March 1998

Telegraph (UK)

Australia's tough gun laws, forced through by Prime Minister John Howard after the Port Arthur massacre in April 1996 when 36 people were killed, may be watered down after pressure from shooting lobbies. The Victoria government is moving to abolish the law's requirement preventing an existing gun owner from taking delivery of a new weapon for 28 days. The time lag was considered important because it enables police to check on the purchaser's record. The Queensland... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Telegraph (UK)

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Australia

Gun-law Retreat Reopens Old Wounds for Mikac

5 March 1998

Australian (Sydney)

Walter Mikac cannot believe that less than two years after Martin Bryant murdered his wife and two daughters at Port Arthur, Victoria's gun laws are being relaxed. "It feels like someone has put a knife into the same wound and twisted it a few times," he said yesterday. Mr Mikac said he had spoken to several of Bryant's victims in recent days and there was a sense of disbelief that "gun laws have moved in the wrong direction … it astounds me". He sent a letter to... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Australian (Sydney)

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Australia

Port Arthur Victim Warns on Guns

5 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

Walter Mikac, the man who became the symbol of national grief after his family was killed in the Port Arthur massacre, warned yesterday that the historic achievement of the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, of uniform national gun laws was in danger of crumbling. Mr Mikac said amendments to Victoria's Firearms Act proposed by the Kennett Government would weaken state gun laws and threaten the National Firearms Agreement, prompted by the Port Arthur tragedy in 1996. He... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

PM in Firing Line as States Dilute Gun Laws

4 March 1998

Sydney Morning Herald

The Federal Government is on a collision course with some conservative States over gun control, after the Justice Minister, Senator Vanstone, intervened in their attempts to water down the strict uniform gun laws brokered by Mr Howard in 1996. Victoria is acting as a stalking horse for Queensland, introducing legislation this month to exempt gun owners from the compulsory 28-day cooling off period before buying a weapon — a core element of the uniform... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Australia

Gun Law Reins in Murders - Police

4 January 1998

Sunday Age (Melbourne)

Tighter gun laws and better counselling services have helped bring down Victoria's murder rate, according to the head of the homicide squad, Detective Chief Inspector Rod Collins. In 1997 there were 61 murders. Nine remain unsolved. The murder rate peaked at 102 in 1987. Chief Inspector Collins said the rate in the 1980s was around 80 a year, but that had now dropped to about 60. "I think improved counselling services have helped some people deal with conflicts... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sunday Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Gun Law Rebels Cave In to Howard

23 July 1996

New Zealand Herald

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... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: New Zealand Herald

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Australia

John Howard's Management of Australia's New Gun Controls Was Masterly

11 May 1996

Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

"Ours is not a gun culture, ours is a culture of peaceful co-operation" — Prime Minister John Howard For the first time in the history of this nation the voice of the overwhelming majority of Australian people has been heard — and acted upon — in Canberra. And, importantly, a moving address by Tasmania's Police Commissioner John Johnson on behalf of the 35 victims of the Port Arthur massacre was critical to forcing the inclusion of low-powered semi-automatic... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

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Australia

Howard's Gun Gamble

10 May 1996

Sydney Morning Herald

The Prime Minister flew from Port Arthur straight into the flak from procrastinating States. He wagered his authority on total gun control — and he won. Michael Millet reports on how it was done. There are some matters that transcend the normal give and take of politics. For John Howard, a politician skilled in the art of compromise, Port Arthur is one such event. Any thought that the Prime Minister was simply carving out an ambit claim for gun control as the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Australia

Australian PM's Personal Gun Control Triumph is His Symbol of Authority

10 May 1996

Sydney Morning Herald

John Howard yesterday marked himself as the leader who has probably changed the nation's future more decisively, more quickly than any prime minister before him. In an extraordinary display of prime ministerial determination, Howard overcame a decade of political inertia and cowardice to give Australia the chance to avoid the gun culture curse which has made life unbearable for the ordinary citizens of some other countries, especially the United States. And the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Australia

Exposed: Gun Lobby's Backers – A Herald Investigation

3 May 1996

Sydney Morning Herald

Australia's $50 million-a-year firearms industry is a major undercover financier of the gun lobby which has campaigned successfully against tougher controls including a national register of firearms. Through organisations such as the Shooters' Party and the 50,000-member Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia (SSAA), arms importers and dealers have poured tens of thousands of dollars into election campaigns, mass advertising and political lobbying. Over the past... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Australia

Pro Shooters Call Semi-automatic Rifles 'Toys for City Boys'

2 May 1996

Reuters

HOBART - Australia's gun lobby said on Thursday a national ban on military-style rifles would not prevent killings such as last weekend's shooting massacre of 35 people in the southern island state of Tasmania. Firearm owners said they would not oppose the proposed ban, advocated by Prime Minister John Howard after he visited the scene of Sunday's shootings at the former convict site of Port Arthur, but insisted the community would be no safer. The pain and anguish of... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Reuters

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Australia

Australian PM Presses States for Gun Bans, National Firearm Registry

2 May 1996

Australian (Sydney)

The Federal Government will push the States next week for new gun laws that ban all automatic and semi-automatic weapons and establish a national gun register following the Port Arthur massacre in which 35 people died. The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, will personally open a meeting of police ministers next Friday and put a strong federal bipartisan position on tougher gun laws. "Those proposals will at a minimum include a proposal for an effective national registration... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Australian (Sydney)

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Australia

Access the Problem, Not Illness, Say Experts

3 September 1991

Sydney Morning Herald

Psychiatrists have dismissed as "absurd" a suggestion by gun lobbyists that psychotic people or people with psychological problems should be listed on a register which would prohibit them from owning guns. Dr William Andrews, chairman of the NSW Branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), said the idea was based on a myth, perpetuated by popular fiction and films, that all mentally ill people were dangerous. "In reality, the vast... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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