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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1229 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

The tragedy which has struck this nation in recent weeks sends all politicians a clear message - the national interest and the voice of the Australian people supported change to our gun laws. We owe it to the many people touched by the events at Port Arthur, as well as to the many who feel that we have failed them in the past, to get these laws right on this occasion. I commend this statement - a copy of which I now table - to the Assembly and I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (4.48): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to present the Weapons (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1996.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I present the Weapons (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1996 and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this morning members of the Assembly expressed their condolences to the victims of the Port Arthur massacre. This afternoon I invite members to join me in doing something positive to ensure that an event such as occurred at Port Arthur two weeks ago does not recur.

This Bill introduces amendments to the Weapons Act 1991 arising from a resolution of the Australasian Police Ministers Council to prohibit the possession, manufacture, sale, resale and transfer of fully automatic and semiautomatic weapons. As my Assembly colleagues will be aware, this resolution was proposed by the Commonwealth Government in response to the shootings at Port Arthur. I believe, Mr Speaker, that it has wide community support. This amendment has the effect of adding to the prohibited weapons schedule all semiautomatic rim-fire and centre-fire rifles, together with self-loading and pump-action shotguns. Any weapons which substantially duplicate these weapons and which are capable of firing a projectile will also be prohibited.

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