Over two decades ago, federal, state and territory governments united in the wake of the devastating Port Arthur massacre to reform firearm laws in a concerted bid to reduce gun violence in Australia. The recently updated National Firearms Agreement and ongoing firearms amnesties have consolidated this national approach to gun control. However, Australia’s arsenal of private guns is now larger than it was before the Port Arthur massacre, and there have been a number of politically-driven campaigns to reduce restrictions in state and territory gun control legislation. There are more imported firearms coming into Australian than ever before; at least 260,000 guns are estimated to be currently held illegally in Australia.
Crime, terrorism, homicide, suicide – how much do guns actually figure in this deadly mix? Are we at risk of adopting a pervasive and deadly gun culture like that of the US? Are we going backwards on gun control, or are our laws too restrictive?
This book explores the debate, featuring opinions on firearms restrictions from gun control advocates and the gun lobby. How should the ownership and use of firearms be regulated in Australia?