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It’s time to review Australia’s gun control laws

By Stuart Horrex - posted Friday, 16 January 2015

Over the last days and weeks we've seen and heard much angst from both ministers and back-benchers in the Abbott Government about terrorism, freedom of speech, and the freedom to cause offence.

We're now seeing a concerted effort by the Abbott Government to use events including the Sydney siege, and the recent events in France as justifications for new and amended legislation.

Attorney General George Brandis is out again, disingenuously linking his mandatory data retention laws with recent events, as if somehow events would have been miraculously different had his proposed laws been in place.


We don't need new laws for our police and security agencies to enforce, we need them to have more resources, support, and the proper training to enforce existing laws.

We've heard Abbott Government back-bench MP Cory ­Bernardi's recent calls for changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

We don't need laws to change for Australians to have their say openly and honestly about the issues they feel important.

We've also witnessed Peter Dutton MP, incoming Immigration Minister say Customs Officers will now be armed at airports in his new expanded "Australian Border Force" portfolio.

All these statements are further evidence the Abbott Government is totally wrong footed in its response to recent tragic events including those in Sydney and Paris, and critically, the Abbott Government is totally wrong footed by the wider ramifications of these tragic events.

Former Prime Minister John Howard bravely tackled the issue of guns and gun control during his term. It is now time to build on those reforms and further protect Australians from gun related crime and violence.


We need stronger gun control measures, not more people with guns.

Many Australians may be surprised to know that despite the former Prime Minister's decisive action in 1996, there are now more guns in circulation than before the National Firearms and Handgun Agreements were put in place.

The first duty of any government is to provide for the "peace, order, and good government" of the peoples of this country. In recent months the Abbott Government has not met at least two of those three imperatives.

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About the Author

Stuart is a Deputy National President of the Australian Democrats, and currently serves as the party National Secretary.

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All articles by Stuart Horrex

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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