Gun control laws in Australia have come under fire after a spate of mass shootings, with some people claiming that they are necessary to prevent a return to a “culture of violence”.
Gun control advocates argue that the country’s laws are “too lax” to prevent shootings, but gun rights advocates have slammed the laws as unnecessary restrictions on law-abiding citizens.
“Australia has a long and proud history of not allowing people to own guns, and not letting people carry guns in public,” Australia’s gun control minister, Adam Bandt, told the ABC on Tuesday.
“[There is] no other country in the world that has that level of gun control.
Australia has a culture of violence and it’s been that way since the Victorian gun laws came in, it’s just got to change.”
So we need to look at how we’re going to change that.
“The first mass shooting in the country took place in March 2017, when the gunman, who had previously served in the military, killed 17 people at a Sydney cafe.
More than 100 people were killed by the gunman who had a history of mental illness.
His rampage, which ended with the deaths of four people, prompted an outcry from gun rights activists, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
At the time, the BIS said there were “strong grounds” for the Government to enact laws that would ban “automatic and semiautomatic weapons”.
The BIS found that “the level of risk of harm to other people and the harm to the public is low”, meaning that it was “not unreasonable to expect that the potential harm to any person would be relatively low”.
Despite the concerns, the Government is expected to introduce a new gun laws bill in the coming weeks, which would ban the importation of firearms that were manufactured before 1994, as well as the manufacture of firearms in certain circumstances.
The Federal Government also announced that it will increase penalties for the possession of “brief-capacity” firearms, such as handguns, which are less than 50 rounds.
In a statement, the Minister for Public Safety said: “The current laws allow for the import of small arms and high-capacity magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds and are commonly used by criminals to commit serious crimes.
We will continue to strengthen our laws to keep our communities safe.
“”The Government will continue its efforts to ensure that Australia remains a country that is safe for all its residents and citizens.
“Australia’s new laws are likely to include some form of gun buyback program.
As we enter into this process, we are taking an active role in identifying, locating and returning surplus firearms to their rightful owners,” the Government said in a statement.