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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2591 ..



believe there are many guns that will remain legal, and there is no reason that they should.

These are guns such as the 9-millimetre Browning pistols, which Thomas Hamilton used to tragically murder 16 schoolchildren and a teacher before shooting himself at Dunblane in Scotland in 1996. From the Monash shooting, the Smith & Wesson .357 will remain legal. The gun, as we famously know from Dirty Harry, "can blow your head clean off".

While the proposed legislation will ban some hand guns, many semi-automatic hand guns will remain legal. In fact, we do not know how many of these weapons will escape the ban, because there is no comprehensive list of models and compensation. This means that the government's buy-back scheme will simply refinance the upgrading of firearms for some licensed holders. They can sell what will be illegal weapons to the government and use the money to buy legal weapons, many of which will be just as dangerous and have no legitimate place in sport.

So much for Chief Minister Stanhope's promise to make the community safer. Any scheme where gun owners can use taxpayers' money to buy new semi-automatic hand guns will not prevent the spread of firearms. However, we are told that it is important to get this legislation through today due to COAG wishing to commence its agreement on 1 July.

While I understand the great desire to have it all start on the same day, both New South Wales and South Australia have deferred the start of the project until 1 October, another three months away.

It is important that we get it on time, but it is more important that we get it right. We still have not been provided with a definitive list of what is in and what is out, with prices or with a thorough investigation of the ACT situation. Let's not rush through some second-grade legislation; let's get the regulations right and make sure they are right for the ACT, so that we can lead the country on gun control and make the reforms what they were going to be last November.

I have one amendment that I think will make this piece of legislation better and will hopefully fix the problems that I have raised with the legislation. I will speak to it further in the detail stage.


(4.21): The Greens will be supporting this legislation and also the amendment from the Democrats. This new, nationally agreed legislation picks up a number of amendments that I actually proposed on behalf of the Greens in the last round of gun control legislation in 1996, specifically, reinforcing active membership requirements, reinforcing active club requirements, registering guns held by collectors and requiring membership of clubs for collectors.

We know there still will be guns in the homes of people, and we still have concerns about that. We were initially hoping to get support for the proposal to have all guns stored in secure areas away from the home, and it seems that this would certainly not be getting support. Because we have been rushed with this legislation, I have not put that amendment, but I think it would be wise, if we are taking this issue as a public health issue.

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