The Alannah & Madeline Foundation applauds news that the Federal Government will announce a national gun amnesty, as reported in The Age today.
The Foundation has consistently supported a national amnesty – a stance that was made clear in its National Firearms Agreement Submission 2015 to the Federal Government – with the aim of reducing the number of illegal firearms in circulation across the country.
The Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said it will continue its campaign urging state and territory governments to strengthen their respective gun legislations. Ms Podesta also called for ongoing community education about the purposes of the amnesty as well as more information on gun safety.
“We support any measure that potentially reduces the death rate due to firearms,” Ms Podesta said. “Reducing the number of firearms in the community – particularly illegal firearms – does reduce the potential for firearm deaths.
"The Australian community cannot get complacent about this – for people to feel that it's all done and fixed”
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation has taken a firm stance on gun control this year, calling on Australian governments to uphold the original intention of the National Firearms Agreement 1996 via a petition, which has yielded more than 26,000 signatures.
The National Firearms Agreement 1996 was introduced after 35 people – including Alannah, 6, Madeline, 3, and their mother Nanette Mikac – were killed by a man carrying semi-automatic weapons at Port Arthur on Sunday 28 April, 1996.
At the time, the Howard Government also established a national firearms buyback scheme, which involved 643,726 guns being removed from circulation.
But while the National Firearms Agreement 1996 banned all semi-automatic and automatic firearms, the legislation has unfortunately been slowly watered down during the past two decades at the insistence of a powerful gun lobby.
Ms Podesta called on the Prime Minister, Premiers, and Justice Ministers to continue to lead the way in keeping Australia’s gun laws strong and a gun amnesty is a strong first step.
The Foundation’s gun petition also calls for tighter gun legislation and heavier restrictions on the Adler A110 lever-action firearm. To sign the petition or for information about the Foundation go to amf.org.au.Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 0416 045 701 or email@example.com.
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