Greens gun control spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has backed a letter sent by the Public Health Association of Australia urging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to stand up to the gun lobby’s attempts to weaken Australian firearms policy.
“The gun lobby’s proposal to establish an industry-based government advisory committee to advise on Australian gun policy is dangerous and should be immediately rejected by the PM,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“The National Agreement on Firearms, adopted after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, would be a target of any such so called advisory body under the guise of review and advice.
“The gun lobby’s proposal would create a US-style framework similar to the influence the National Rifle Association wields when US law makers come to vote on gun control measures.
“Australians should be very worried when Australian politicians start pandering to the gun lobby. The NSW and Tasmanian governments are already moving to relax gun regulations, and some minor parties are working to create a US-style ‘normalising’ of gun ownership.
“The arms industry should never be part of policy-making processes.
“I share the Public Health Association’s call for political parties not to accept donations from the firearm industry and gun lobby.
“In the US this year 17,000 gun violence incidents have occurred with over 4,000 deaths. Nearly 1,000 children under the age of seventeen have been killed or injured by firearms. This doesn’t include self-harm by firearms which is even higher. These figures underline why we don’t want a US style ‘advisory body’ here.
“Australia has been praised internationally as having some of the safest gun regulations in the world thanks to former Prime Minister Howard’s strengthening of gun laws in 1996 after the Port Arthur massacre. Evidence shows that at least 16 mass shootings have been avoided because of these laws.
“The Turnbull government must take the PHAA’s advice and re-establish a firearms advisory council free from the dangerous influence of the gun lobby. We need a council that prioritises the protection of Australians now and into the future,” Senator Rhiannon said.
PHAA media release: https://www.phaa.net.au/documents/item/2728
Media contact: Alana West 0432 425 548