Message to Ministers: Keep our gun laws strong

in Press Releases

Media Release - Friday 21 October, 2016

Today's meeting of State and Territory Police and Justice Ministers in Melbourne is an opportunity to uphold the integrity and original intention of the National Firearms Agreement 1996.

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said the ban on the importation of the Adler A110 – which can fire up to 8 shots in quick succession – was the right call and there should not be a backwards step on gun control in Australia.

“Today's meeting is an opportunity to restate what kind of community we want to be," Ms Podesta said. "After Port Arthur we decided to be a country that kept our community safe from rapid fire weapons. And it worked.

"In the decade before Port Arthur there were 11 mass shootings. In the decade after, there were none.

“We have seen a decline in homicides by gun, and a dramatic drop in the number of suicides by gun. Our community has been safer because of the courage and decisiveness of our leaders.

"The majority of Australians want to keep our gun laws strong, and the Alannah & Madeline Foundation will continue to stand with them."

More than 48,000 people have now signed the Foundation's petition which was launched in April this year.

"These laws have served us well for two decades," Ms Podesta said. "We don't want to see any watering down of our strong gun laws, in fact we want to make sure they keep up with technology and deal with incremental weakening at the state level.

"We don't want to be America where gun ownership is normalised and gun control is a political plaything. The issue of community safety should not be a bargaining chip.

"We call on State and Territory Police Ministers to do the right thing and uphold the integrity of John Howard's laws."

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation was founded by Walter Mikac who lost both his daughters and his wife in the Port Arthur tragedy.

During the past two decades Mr Mikac has worked tirelessly to keep children safe from violence, including gun violence.

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