Today’s stated commitment from COAG that they will implement a nationally consistent approach to counter-terrorism will be worthless if the National Firearm Agreement is not enforced and the Registry with details of where guns are held is not enacted.
Greens federal gun control spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said, “For two decades, not one Australian state or territory government has fully complied with the National Firearms Agreement.
“This is a gaping hole in our ability to respond to terror threats.
“The Turnbull government needs to ensure that total compliance with the National Firearms Agreement is a priority for the newly adopted national approach to counter-terrorism.
“Of particular concern is that Western Australia, NSW, Victoria and Queensland have not committed to a National Firearm Registry.
“The police cannot fight terrorism if they do know where private guns are located. Legally owned firearms are a regular source for those looking for weapons to commit terrorism and criminal acts.
“The report on compliance with the NFA released today details shocking erosion of gun control across Australia. This is incompatible with an ability to protect the community from terror threats.
“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to have courage and take on the gun lobby if he is going to succeed in tackling terrorism.
“If the Coalition government is serious about a nationally consistent approach to counter-terrorism, states must be brought into line on the NFA,” Senator Rhiannon said.
At the same time that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) met today to agree to a national approach to combatting terrorism, Gun Control Australia (GCA) released a report detailing all Australian states and territories’ lack of compliance with the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).
The NFA was created in 1996 in the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre, and was agreed to by all Australian governments. However reports released in 1997, 2006 and 2017 have all found that no Australian State or Territory has at any stage fully complied with the national agreement.
One of the four key outcomes of the COAG meeting held today on counter-terrorism communique is adopting a nationally consistent approach. This is described as “close cooperation and interoperability between Commonwealth and state agencies [which] is critical to Australia’s ability to counter terrorism.”
Full report commissioned by Gun Control Australia: October 2017, “Firearm legislation in Australia 21 years after the national firearms agreement” http://apo.org.au/node/112896