Australia's Latest Gun Concerns a Dire Warning for America

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

There are a lot of people in the United States who want a gun control scheme similar to that of Australia’s. They figure the Aussies got it right and we should follow their lead.


Among anti-gunners, there are few who actually oppose the idea of copying the Land Down Under in how they approach firearms and firearm ownership. The difference of opinion probably lies in whether or not they consider that enough or a good start.

Yet even in Australia, they’re more than willing to freak out over anything that sort of skirts their preconceived notions of what should be acceptable, even if it’s perfectly legal.

John Howard has joined gun control advocates and police to sound alarm at inconsistent firearms regulations that risk undermining restrictions on high-powered multi-shot weapons.

The former prime minister, who spearheaded efforts to tighten Australia’s gun laws in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre, said the community would be “very angry” if there were any weakening of firearms control.

Gun safety advocates and the Australian Federal Police Association are demanding states urgently align their gun laws, pointing to major inconsistencies in the way some high-powered, rapid-fire weapons were treated by state authorities.

The Wedgetail MPR308, a pump-action rifle, for example, is banned in NSW, Tasmania and the ACT but can be bought by recreational and sporting shooters in every other state and territory.

Gun Control Australia vice president Roland Browne said it was “crazy” that such discrepancies exist between adjacent jurisdictions for such powerful, quick-fire firearms.

“We deplore those guns being in circulation in the general community,” Browne said.

“They can kill or injure many people quickly and we’re seeing governments around Australia allow them to circulate. We have no need for them in a civil society.”


Now, keep in mind that these are pump-action rifles. They’re nothing particularly new and they’re nothing remotely like semi-automatic modern sporting rifles like the AR-15.

Instead, they’re guns that were designed to meet the needs of shooters while adhering to existing laws.

Here’s the kicker, though. Not a single part of that report highlights any crimes in Australia committed with such weapons. Nothing at all.

In other words, they’re not a problem, but Australian officials are losing their minds over them anyway.

This is no different than how American anti-gunners act now and would likely act if we adopted another nation’s gun control scheme.

We could basically just copy and paste their laws and, in time, someone will find a way to provide something legally that skirts the law without breaking it. Others of us would buy it because we want what we want and we’ll buy whatever we can that will meet our needs.

And for all the talk about just enacting a few “common sense” gun laws, it’ll never stop at those measures. Australia reacted to the Port Arthur massacre with sweeping gun control, and despite no evidence these kinds of weapons are being misused, are going to use the specter of that event to try and ban these as well.


Make no mistake, for all the “I respect the Second Amendment but…” rhetoric, this would be our future if we give even a single inch.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member