As submissions for the Tasmanian Government’s House of Assembly Inquiry into gun laws draws to a close today, Medics for Gun Control are urging the government to save lives by upholding and strengthening Tasmania’s commitment to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).

 

In their submission, Medics for gun control proposed key improvements to Tasmania’s gun regulations including:

 

  • Closing down a Tasmanian loophole which breaches the NFA by currently allowing gun use by children as young as 12
  • Strengthening background checks and tightening the requirement that licenses will be cancelled and weapons seized in the case of violence orders, domestic violence orders and assaults
  • Reducing license periods, particularly for semi-automatic weapons and handguns
  • Banning 3D printed weapons in Tasmania and ensuring that the controversial Adler shotgun is categorised as a Category C weapon (that has stricter licensing requirements)
  • Prohibiting weapons industry or gun lobby donations to political parties or candidates in Tasmania

 

“Public health laws are designed to protect public safety, and any proposal to amend the gun control laws in Tasmania must be made within a public health framework,” said public health nurse Jen Brown, “As police minister and minister for health we urge Michael Ferguson to advocate for stronger policy on guns regulations to protect public health and safety,” she said.

 

“Gun laws that have proven effective in reducing gun deaths should only be strengthened and move towards meeting the requirements of the national firearms agreement. It is clear that the vast majority of persons interested in the health and safety of the community are in agreement with this position,” said medical officer Dr Sam Maloney, “We hope that this opportunity is taken to stand up to vested interests and listen to the will of the majority who wish to be protected from gun violence,” he said.

 

“We welcome the Tasmanian government’s stated commitment to upholding the National Firearms Agreement, which is critical to preventing unnecessary deaths and injuries from guns,” said GP Dr Phill Pullinger, “Through tightening up our gun regulations and closing down loopholes that breach the National Firearms Agreement, Tasmania can not just make Tasmanians safer, but also play a critical leadership role in upholding the national agreement.”

 

Since the National Firearms Agreement was established in 1996 after the Port Arthur Massacre, gun deaths in Australia have more than halved. Whilst there were 13 mass shootings in Australia in the 18 years leading up to the Port Arthur Massacre, there were none in Australia in the 20 years following the establishment of the Port Arthur gun laws, until Margaret River in May this year.

 

Medics for Gun Control are a volunteer group of health professionals concerned about reducing injuries and deaths from guns in Australia, including through upholding and strengthening the National Firearms Agreement.