21st April, 2016
Dear Senator Muir,
I am writing to you as the CEO of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation. Senator, sadly, I saw yesterday that you posted a video online of yourself firing the Adler A110 and advocating its availability more broadly.
Our Founding Patron Walter Mikac was pivotal in the then Prime Minister the Hon John Howard enacting the National Firearms Agreement 1996
in the aftermath of the Port Arthur tragedy, which resulted in 35 deaths. The Alannah & Madeline Foundation was started out of one man’s horrific loss. Walter Mikac’s daughters Alannah and Madeline and wife Nanette were gunned down along with 32 others at Port Arthur in April 1996.
It was this event that not only prompted the creation of the Foundation, but a change to Australian gun laws.
No one should ever have to experience what Walter has lived through and that is why we are concerned about this weapon.
We are well advanced with preparations to commemorate twenty years since this historic tragedy touched deeply the lives of all Australians on the 28th
The Foundation’s Mission is “to keep children safe from violence” and we do not purport to be firearm experts, however, we believe the firearms framework that came out of this event has made Australia a safer place and are alarmed there has been a weakening of gun laws since the 1996 agreement. As you are aware, we are working to ensure that the purpose of this agreement is returned to its original intention. We support the banning of all automatic and semi-automatic firearms in line with the National Firearms Agreement 1996
Through our recently publicised petition “Keep Australia Safe from Gun Violence”, we are also calling for the restriction on the eight-shot Adler A110 to a category C or D and we are in support of the Australian Government’s current ban on the weapon.
We also believe the five-shot Adler A110 should be classified as a category C weapon.
To be clear, we do not want to deprive Australians the right of owning firearms, however we do not want weapons that can fire shots in quick succession to fall into the hands of the wrong people. A weapon that can fire multiple shots in quick succession (semi-automatic or not) should not be easily available to the public.
While we appreciate that many within the agricultural sector are responsible firearm owners, the risk that these weapons could be stolen and used by the wrong people is of great concern and should be the concern of our elected officials.
Senator, as a parent and a concerned citizen, we are calling on you to stand with us to uphold the National Firearms Agreement and to work with us to ensure that all children are kept safe from violence.
Lesley Podesta Chief Executive Officer
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation