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People Are Praising Australia’s Gun Laws Following The Texas School Mass Shooting

People Are Praising Australia’s Gun Laws Following The Texas School Mass Shooting

Many are applauding the nation for becoming the golden standard for altering gun laws following the 1996 Port Arthur mass shooting.

Australia’s gun laws have been praised following the latest deadly mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed.

As the calls for gun reform grow in the US, many are pointing at Australia and applauding the nation for becoming the gold standard for how to react to a mass shooting event.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard decided to overhaul the country's gun laws in the wake of a mass shooting in Tasmania, where 35 people died.

Following the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, many took to Twitter calling for the US to replicate Australia's move to ban assault rifles.

One person wrote: "Today, I was at the site where tragedy changed Australia’s gun laws…and I can’t understand why the U.S. won’t change either."

Another said: "I think we should copy Australia's gun laws. They handled it well. Homicide went down!"

While another wrote: "Congress needs to look at Canada's and Australia's gun laws. They have good ideas that US Needs to adopt."

Australia's watershed moment unfolded in April 1996 after a gunman ate lunch at a cafe in Port Arthur, Tasmania, before he pulled a semi-automatic rifle out of his duffle bag and shot people next to him. 

The gunman proceeded to unload bullets on people in the neighbouring gift shop before moving to a parking lot, a toll booth and a petrol station.

Shortly after the massacre, just six weeks after Prime Minister John Howard began serving his first term, he acted swiftly to change the gun laws despite facing backlash from gun rights advocates. 

Convener Australian Gun Safety Alliance Stephen Bendle told that the move was unpopular at the time. 

“It is only a minority who had a personal interest in maintaining gun laws,” he said.

“It was mainly among recreation shooters and farmers. It was a relatively small number of people had firearms but they were vocal and they were certainly vocal at the time.”

While rallying for gun law reform, the Prime Minister spoke with pro-gun organisations in Sale, Victoria while wearing a bulletproof vest. 

REUTERS/James Redmayne

Following the massacre in Port Arthur, the Federal government confiscated 650,000 guns, restricted the ownership of semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns and introduced uniform firearms licensing.

Speaking to the ABC, Mr Howard said: "I thought, 'For heavens sake, what's the point of being in office when you can't do something significant in relation to something that affects community safety?'"

Unsurprisingly, since implementing stricter gun laws, Australia has had no mass shootings.

Equally, following the 2019 mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand prohibited almost all semi-automatic firearms and rifles.

Norway changed their laws after the 2011 domestic terrorist attacks committed by Anders Behring Breivik, which forced citizens to be over 18 to obtain a gun license while providing a ‘valid’ reason for ownership.

The UK government also introduced a near-total ban on handguns after the Dunblane massacre, where a gunman killed 16 school children in Stirling, Scotland.

Meanwhile, Texas last year passed a bill to allow members of the public to carry a handgun without a permit and other requirements.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy. REUTERS/David McNew.

Topics: News, Crime, Australia, US News, Politics