Skip to comments.Gillard flags crackdown on gun violence
Posted on 01/15/2013 10:43:45 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has signalled possible Federal Government action to crack down on gun violence in western Sydney and unrest in Logan, south of Brisbane.
New South Wales police have set up a taskforce to investigate a double shooting in Wetherill Park yesterday that left a 45-year-old man dead and a 31-year-old in hospital.
In Logan, police have been forced to intervene in long-running racial tensions that have resulted in street clashes in recent days.
Ms Gillard has praised the efforts of police in responding to the violence, but says it is clear that further action is needed to deal with the problem.
"At this time, all levels of government need to be doing everything that can be done to address this violence," Ms Gillard said.
"So in that spirit, I have asked [Home Affairs Minister] Jason Clare to prepare for cabinet and for Government some options to address this violence and to explore the limits of the Federal Government's legal and constitutional responsibilities in this area."
There were dozens of shootings across western Sydney last year, with Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott at one point describing the violence as a "reign of terror on the streets of Sydney".
Ms Gillard says shootings in Sydney's south and south-west have become all too common.
"I am very concerned about the circumstances for communities in Sydney's west and more broadly," Ms Gillard said while addressing the launch of a cyber-safety program for children. 'Lacks substance'
The Coalition has consistently argued that cuts to the Customs service have been partly responsible for gun crime because it has allowed illegal firearms to more easily enter the country.
Opposition Customs spokesman Michael Keenan says today's announcement by the Prime Minister lacks the substance necessary to deal with the problem.
"They've identified and said they're going to look at a problem that they themselves have contributed significantly to creating," Mr Keenan told ABC News.
"For years, the Labor Party has systematically degraded federal law enforcement agencies, they've cut funding to those agencies, they've cut personnel from those agencies, and that has contributed to violence on our streets because it's given criminals a better chance of being able to smuggle contraband [onto our streets]."
He says the Government has also made cuts to the Australian Crime Commission and the Federal Police.
Mr Clare's office has not been able to elaborate on what options could be considered, although Ms Gillard has made clear that she does not want to interfere in the responsibilities of state governments.
Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop has panned Ms Gillard's announcement, describing it as a "populist" move in an election year.
"For Julia Gillard to raise the expectation of federal intervention in every neighbourhood dispute is populism at its worst," Ms Bishop told ABC News.
"I believe this is a matter of direct concern to local governments and state-based law enforcement agencies."
But former prime minister Kevin Rudd says there is a legitimate role for the Federal Government in helping to make communities safer, adding that "I don't think it's a place for politics". 'Completely unnecessary'
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says he does not want the Federal Government's help to deal with the racial strife in Logan.
One of the families at the centre of the disturbances is now moving to the Gold Coast with the help of the Housing Department.
Mr Newman says the Prime Minister has other things to worry about and the dispute is a matter for local authorities.
"It sounds somewhat spurious to me and completely unnecessary. I assure Queenslanders the matter is well in hand," he said.
"I would suggest very politely that the Prime Minister has many issues that she does need to deal with - they have a very big budgetary problem they need to deal with."
I thought the Aussies already surrendered all of their guns to the government.
Gee, wait a minute. Didn’t they... already ban guns there?
Down Under need to legalize Over-Unders.
Take away all the responsible people’s guns you.
Oh, you already did?
Good Luck morons
It is places where guns are illegal,that have such a great pressing need to ban them.Fool me once,shame on you,fool me twice.....and yet people buy into these appeals.
It is places where guns are illegal,that have such a great pressing need to ban them.Fool me once,shame on you,fool me twice.....and yet people buy into these appeals to amend non-existent firearm laws.
Yes and plenty of smug Aussies (and gullible US lefties) were quoting the Australian laws as a panacea.
Guns are not banned in Australia. There are strong restrictions on certain categories of firearms, such as semi-automatic ‘military style’ weapons, but even those are not actually banned, and owning more basic firearms, like small magazine hunting rifles and shotguns, is actually quite easy.
There are actually more guns in Australia now than there were prior to the 1996 gun laws, it’s just a somewhat different mix of weapons than it used to be.
For political reasons, some groups have tried to portray Australia’s gun controls as far more extensive than they actually are. The situation is far from good, but it’s nowhere near as bad as some paint it.
Ping to my previous answer as it may interest you as well.
I am under the impression they have to keep guns unloaded and locked up with ammo locked up in a separate area.Is this correct?
Precise regulations differ from state to state, but that is certainly true in my state, and I would think it is likely true in all other states, I just don't know for certain.
Unless a firearm is actually in use, and under the active control of a licenced shooter (that's the legal term used for somebody who holds a gun licence), it must be unloaded and locked in a secure cabinet. Ammunition can be stored in the same cabinet, only if the cabinet is especially built with a separate storage area.
It's far from ideal, but if I needed to, I've got things set up so that I can have a loaded firearm in my hand in less than a minute from just about anywhere in my home, and often in less than thirty seconds.
Our laws are a long way from being good laws. We have universal licencing, universal registration, strict storage rules, and certain firearms are subject to special restrictions. It isn't quite true (I own one for example) but the restrictions are significant enough that it wouldn't be unreasonable to say 'assault weapons' (and we have the same difficulties defining that term as the US does) are banned. That's a long way from all guns being banned.
Miall's Gun Shop - this is the website for my local gun shop. It gives a good idea of the type of thing that is pretty readily available. Mostly basic hunting rifles and shotguns. A limited range of handguns. There are specialist stores that carry wider ranges, but probably 95% of the guns in private hands in Australia are the type you'll see on that website.