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Firearm News

Australia

States Are Wilting Again Before the Massed Guns

20 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

As Always, public opinion has not kept the gun lobby down for very long. Many of their supporters had said they would not comply with the new laws. They would hide their weapons. Quietly, but effectively it seems, the gun lobby and some coalition politicians have put in place a campaign of progressive and continuing rejection of various parts of the 1996 national agreement on gun control. This is exactly the way they behaved in the 1980s. Over that time, we in... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Gun Control 'Over the Top'

20 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

The Victorian Government had overreacted to the Port Arthur massacre when framing its response to the calls for national gun laws, the Premier, Mr Jeff Kennett, said yesterday. On the day that the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, held talks with the gun control advocate Mr Walter Mikac, Mr Kennett said he hoped to convince the Prime Minister that amendments to Victorian gun laws now before State Parliament would not weaken the national code. Arriving in Canberra for... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Minister Ignored Report

20 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

The Federal Government knew as early as last May that states and territories were watering down gun laws, but took no action. While the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, has taken a firm stand on Victoria's proposals, at least one of his ministers knew that Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland had already brought in weaker laws. The report, Firearms Legislation in Australia, is believed to have been sent to the federal Attorney-General, Mr Daryl... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

South Australia Will Not Support the Watering Down of Gun Laws, the Premier, Mr Olsen, Has Pledged

15 March 1998

Sunday Mail (South Australia)

Mr Olsen yesterday distanced himself from proposed amendments to gun reform legislation. The statement came after a week of public feuding between the Olsen and Brown camps over the issue — and the extraordinary outburst by former deputy premier and treasurer, Mr Stephen Baker, against Mr Ingerson, Mr Olsen's deputy. The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, has signalled his displeasure at any State moves to alter the laws. At the Premiers' Conference on Friday, Mr Howard... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sunday Mail (South Australia)

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Australia

The Gun Debate … The Story So Far

15 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

The tough national gun code brokered by the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, after the Port Arthur massacre was designed to reduce the risk of future gun carnage and seen by many as a legislative epitaph to those Martin Bryant had slain. Mr Walter Mikac, whose wife and two young daughters were shot dead by Bryant, is one of many gun opponents concerned that the code is on the brink of collapse. Mr Howard has vowed to resist pressure from the states to water down the... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Armstrong Fires His First Shot for Relaxed Gun Laws

13 March 1998

Sydney Morning Herald

The NSW National Party leader, Mr Armstrong, refused yesterday to rule out a relaxation of gun laws under a State Coalition Government. He claimed gun registration had failed, as predicted by the Nationals, who crossed the floor of Parliament to vote against nationally uniform gun laws. The Opposition Leader, Mr Collins, immediately distanced the Liberals from Mr Armstrong's remarks, which kept alive the State Nationals' option of following the lead of Victoria,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Australia

Heaven on Earth is a Place Without Guns

13 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

Every time I hear the Eric Clapton song Tears in Heaven, the questions begin in my head. It is the song he wrote when his four-year-old son died and it is always the first line that triggers my thought: "Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?" On 19 June last year, my brother John and I were standing as close to heaven as you can on Earth. It was a rainy, dank Scottish afternoon as we entered the heavy iron gates to Dunblane cemetery in Scotland. I felt... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Gun Laws to Stay - PM

12 March 1998

Sydney Morning Herald

The Prime Minister yesterday guaranteed he would not allow the States to water down his uniform gun laws, and will lay down the law to State Premiers at the Premiers' Conference tomorrow week. In a strong reassertion of his leadership on gun control in the face of several States' plans to weaken the uniform laws he brokered in 1996 after the Port Arthur massacre, Mr Howard told Parliament Australians would "bitterly resent any attempt to water it down". Victoria is... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Australia

Howard Pressures States on Gun Laws

12 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

A showdown is expected next week when the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, confronts the Premier, Mr Jeff Kennett, over Victoria's plans to amend its gun laws. Mr Howard said yesterday all state and territory governments would be forced to reaffirm their commitment to the National Firearms Agreement at the Premiers' Conference in Canberra next Friday. As debate raged over Victoria's Firearms (Amendment) Bill, which critics say breaches the national agreement, Mr Howard... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Minister Rejects Gun Law Retreat

11 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

Controversial changes to Victoria's gun laws are likely to be passed by Parliament before May. The Police Minister, Mr Bill McGrath, yesterday said he saw no reason to delay the changes until the Australian Police Ministers Council meeting in June, and insisted they did not breach the national firearms agreement. Despite protests from the anti-gun lobby and a private 90-minute meeting with Port Arthur victim Mr Walter Mikac yesterday, Mr McGrath remained defiant,... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Emotional Anniversaries Loom as Gun Debate Flares

10 March 1998

Nine MSN TV News, Australia

Gun control lobbyists have asked Australians to take time out on Friday to remember the school teacher and 16 children shot to death in the Scottish city of Dunblane in 1996. At a time when debate is again heating up over the need for tough gun laws, the Coalition for Gun Control said we should not forget why uniform laws were introduced in the first place. "On Friday, March 13, 1996, 16 innocent children were gunned down in a school in Scotland and on April 28 that... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Nine MSN TV News, Australia

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Australia

Gun Lobby Mobilises in Battle to Change Laws

10 March 1998

Nine MSN TV News, Australia

The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia has sent letters to the Prime Minister John Howard and state and territory leaders urging them to keep emotion out of the national gun debate. National secretary Roy Smith said letters had been sent to the leaders ahead of Friday's Premier's Conference where national gun laws are expected to be a hot issue. Gun control activists are strongly opposed to proposed changes to the national gun laws which they say will water... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Nine MSN TV News, Australia

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Australia

Ministers Lobbied to Defend Gun Laws

10 March 1998

Australian (Sydney)

Health ministers will be asked today to form a united front to "strongly resist" changes to Victoria's gun-control laws in a surprise tactical move by former South Australian premier Dean Brown. Mr Brown, now Human Resources Minister in the Olsen Government, told The Australian he planned to raise the issue of Victoria's gun-control changes at today's meeting of State and federal health ministers in Canberra. "I'll be moving to put a stop on what's happening in... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Australian (Sydney)

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Australia

Mikac Takes Gun Fight to Minister

10 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

The Police Minister, Mr Bill McGrath, has agreed to meet the anti-gun lobbyist, Mr Walter Mikac, today to hear his plea against any relaxation of the state's gun laws. Mr Mikac said yesterday he hoped to at least be able to persuade Mr McGrath to delay proposed changes until after a national police ministers' meeting in June. Last week, Mr Mikac wrote to the Premier, Mr Jeff Kennett, protesting against the Firearms (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to abolish the 28-day... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

State Considers Gun Law Delay

9 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

The State Government may delay planned changes to Victoria's gun laws amid an outcry from anti-gun campaigners. A Government spokesman indicated yesterday that the legislation, introduced in State Parliament last month, may not come into force until after a national police ministers meeting later this year. The Police Minister, Mr Bill McGrath, would brief the Premier and Cabinet tomorrow on his meeting last Friday with the federal Justice Minister, Senator Amanda... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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Australia

Lest We Forget: One Tiny Protest

9 March 1998

Age (Melbourne)

Lest we forget, the victims of the Port Arthur massacre will keep reminding us of why the national gun laws were introduced. Thirty-five dead, 20 injured, on 28 April, 1996, the worst massacre by a lone gunman in Australian history. Yesterday, on a gorgeous sunny Grand Prix Sunday, we were reminded that the only good thing to come from the tragedy was that it brought a national agreement on gun laws. A group of about 40 people stood on the steps of the Victorian... (GunPolicy.org)

Read More: Age (Melbourne)

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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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