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(Self-defence is not accepted as a reason for issuing a license, even though it may be legal under certain circumstances to use a legally held firearm for self-defence)
Gun politics have only become a notable issue in Australia since the 1980s. Low levels of violent crime through much of the 20th century kept levels of public concern about firearms low. However, in the last two decades of the century, following several high profile multiple murders and a media campaign, the Australian government co-ordinated more restrictive firearms legislation with all state governments. Australia today has arguably some of the most restrictive firearms legislation in the world.
Current Australian firearm laws
State laws govern the possession and use of firearms in Australia. These laws were largely aligned under the 1996 National Agreement on Firearms. Anyone wishing to possess or use a firearm must have a Firearms Licence and, with some exceptions, be over the age of 18. Owners must have secure storage for their firearms.
Before someone can buy a firearm, he or she must obtain a Permit To Acquire. The first permit has a mandatory 28-day delay before it is first issued. In some states (e.g., Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales), this is waived for second and subsequent firearms of the same class. For each firearm a “Genuine Reason” must be given, relating to pest control, hunting, target shooting, or collecting. (Self-defence is not accepted as a reason for issuing a license, even though it may be legal under certain circumstances to use a legally held firearm for self-defence).
Each firearm in Australia must be registered to the owner by serial number. Some states allow an owner to store or borrow another person’s registered firearm of the same category
- Democrats Have (Nominally) Changed Their Tune on Gun Rights (reason.com)
- Rising gun sales in New Jersey driven by first-time buyers (nj.com)
- Gun-Rights Vs. Gun-Control: Why Extremes Do Not Work! (marktmillerjr.wordpress.com)
- US Gun Sales Booming (newser.com)
- Gun Control and Censoring Free Speech on the Intenet is the Third Rail of Politics (thelonestarwatchdog.com)
- Australia: a gun nation? (radioadelaidebreakfast.wordpress.com)