Tight gun control should be commended

AUSTRALIA’S gun control policies should remain free from interference by firearm lobby groups.

The Public Health Association Australia (PHAA) strongly objects to the proposal to establish an industry-based firearms advisory council in Australia under the Department of Home Affairs, and call on the Australian Government to disallow it.

In a letter sent to the Prime Minister last week, the PHAA has outlined its serious concerns about the proposed gun law advisory council which would represent the interests of gun manufacturers, importers and retailers.

It stated that if the advisory council is established, the government must, at the very least, allow equal representation by public health and other non-industry experts during gun policy-making to counteract the influence of the council with alternative evidence. 

The concept that this council represents should be alarming to the Australian public.

As described, it would review Australian gun regulations for “appropriateness and intent”, which is very similar to the system in the US where the National Rifle Association exerts significant influence on gun policy.

We’ve seen the devastating effects this influence can bring through the multiple shooting incidents which occur there on a regular basis.

This council would enable the arms industry, which has numerous connections and funding support, to potentially alter Australian gun laws in a way which is beneficial to them but which threatens public health.

The firearms industry is already closely involved in Australian politics through the political donations it has made in Queensland and likely in other states as well.

How much further do we want to see the lines blurred between the private industry agenda and Australian government policy?. 

Maintaining strict gun control is an essential protection for the Australian people from shooting incidents which do occur partly as a result of increased availability of guns.

The present laws still allow legitimate registered firearm owners appropriate access to and use of guns suitable to their circumstances.

Michael Moore,

Public Health Association Australia CEO

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