By Brian Murphy – 04 December 2018 04:59:58With the end of the year approaching, it is important to keep an eye on what’s happening in the world of firearm classification.
The Australian Government has introduced legislation to classify all types of firearms in the country into four categories: assault weapons, long guns, handguns and semi-automatic rifles.
The legislation, introduced by Minister for Public Safety Nigel Scullion in the New Year, is a response to the tragic murder of 17-year-old Jacob Meehan, who was killed in a shooting spree in Port Augusta, South Australia, on New Year’s Day.
He was found with a 9mm handgun and three handguns in his bedroom and was shot to death by police.
The government is seeking the input of the public on its proposed classification, and has published an online survey asking if people believe the proposed classification would make Australia safer.
According to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, there were 1,095,903 firearm deaths in the Australian population in 2016.
According a 2015 report by the Australian Institute of Criminology, there was a 23.7 per cent rise in firearm deaths between 2005 and 2020, and the rise in suicides.
A study by the University of New South Wales, published in the Lancet in March, found that the increase in firearm suicide rates coincided with a rise in homicides.
Professor John Dickson from the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy at the University said it was important to understand the trends in firearm mortality rates.
“What we can learn from a range of other countries that have had a similar type of legislation is that the trend is fairly uniform across the developed world,” Professor Dickson said.
“We know from the United Kingdom, for example, that they have a fairly similar gun ownership rate to Australia, and in the UK there has been a rise since the 1990s in firearm homicides.”
There are different types of guns.
You’ve got handguns and assault weapons and there’s also a wide range of non-firearm types.
“Professor Dickson told the ABC that Australia had an opportunity to look at the “national gun policy” by introducing a classification of firearms to the country.”
If we can get a consistent approach across the country in terms of our policy on firearms, then it will be easier to see what we need to do,” he said.”[We can] get a better sense of what the level of regulation should be, and it’s a good starting point.
“Professor Mark Boulton from the Australian National University’s Centre for Law and Justice, told the New York Times that the government should consider whether or not the classification would be effective.”
I think it’s important to have a broad range of weapons to consider,” Professor Boulson said.
The classification is a move in the right direction.
The US has a “universal” gun law that requires people to present identification to purchase a firearm, and requires firearms to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The US Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that the ATF must collect a fingerprint, but the Supreme Court has been silent on whether the US needs a similar classification to Australia.
Topics:government-and-politics,guns,law-crime-and-(human-rights),guns-and,crime,law—state-issues,united-statesFirst posted January 04, 2019 13:55:21Contact Paul RovereMore stories from New South Wollongong