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Questions On Australian Firearms Legislation

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Assessment Task 2: Individual case study essay on selected health policy

Topic: Australian firearms legislation

Background:

Over the last two decades, Australia’s firearm laws have undergone extensive reform, resulting from two main catalyst shootings. These shootings events are known as the 1996 Port Arthur massacre and the 2002 Monash University shooting (Baker, & McPhedran, 2007).

However, prior to these events, there was no national legislation consistent among all Australian states and territories. Instead, the commonwealth controlled the importation and each state and territory had their own legislative scheme to regulate the ownership and use of firearms (Klieve, 2009).

The 1987 Hoddle Street and Queen St mass killings in
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In response, the Australasian Police Minister Council (APMC) and the council of Australian governments (COAG), agreed to a national plan for the regulation of firearms that was also strongly promoted by, then conservative Prime Minister John Howard (Baker, & McPhedran, 2007). Ultimately, this lead to the national firearms Agreement (1996), and was consistent with the former recommendations made by the National committee on Violence (Cantor, 1990).

This also led to the implementation of the national buyback program, which was an attempt to encourage firearm owners and dealers to hand over their prohibited weapons (Klieve, 2009).

The Monash University classroom shooting occurred here in Melbourne after an international student, armed with 6 different weapons, opened fire on his classmates. This resulted in the death of 2 people and injured 5 (Ozanne-Smith, 2004).

Contemporary Firearms legislation policy:

Following these events, the Australian, state and territory governments entered three national agreements that lead to the contemporary firearm laws.

Shortly before the Monash shootings, the APMC implemented the National firearm trafficking policy agreement (2002) that acted to control illegal trade of firearms in Australia (Chapman, 2006).

Following the Monash shootings, the National handgun control agreement (2002) was established to restrict they types of handguns that
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