Following the release of a non-peer-reviewed report looking at Australia’s gun laws on October 5, it was refreshing to see a factual, non-emotive and evidence-based story appear in the media. Published on the academic website The Conservation, the article raised valid concerns about the dangers of oversimplifying gun control and cautioned against always reverting to a 20-year-old document, instead of adapting laws to keep with the changing times.
Written by criminologists from The University of Queensland, the article explained that the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) is a “national guideline; each state and territory has the responsibility and jurisdiction to implement their own legislation. Differences between states are therefore inevitable.” The authors also pointed out that “extreme views do not allow a commonsense debate to take place.”
A previous report into the NFA, written by known anti-gun author Philip Alpers and funded by Gun Control Australia, failed to acknowledge that gun laws are ultimately the responsibility of the state and territory governments. The state and territory jurisdictions did not secede their rights to legislate and regulate firearms post-1996.
The SSAA issued our own statement in response to Alpers’ report and is currently analysing the 100-page document in full, with the assistance of our state and territory SSAA branches. We praise the authors of The Conversation piece for accurately representing the reality of our gun laws.