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The Australian Gun Safety Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations committed to ensuring that gun laws are upheld around the nation, will save lives, AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today.

Launched by the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control this morning, the Alliance will work together to ensure that State and Territory Governments continue to comply with the National Firearms Agreement (NFA), the landmark gun law agreement that was forged in the wake of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre.

“Gun deaths have halved in Australia over the past two decades, thanks to the National Firearms Agreement,” Dr Bartone said. “Countless lives have been saved.

“But there is still work to do, and illegal gun possession remains a major health concern.

“It is estimated that there are anywhere between 260,000 and six million guns held illegally in Australia, and most gun-related deaths in Australia are within the families of gun owners.

“Guns have a legitimate role in areas such as agriculture, regulated sport, and for the military and police, but gun possession in the broader community is a serious risk to public health.

“Doctors see first hand the damage, and physical and emotional trauma, caused by guns, whether through accidental or intentional misuse, and the AMA strongly opposes any campaigns or policies that seek to dilute or relax the restrictions on firearm purchase and ownership.

“The Alliance provides an important forum through which the AMA will continue to advocate for gun safety in Australia.”

The AMA Position Statement on Firearms 2017 makes a number of recommendations to minimise gun-related violence, including:

  • Continued, consistent laws across all States and Territories, 
  • A real-time, readily accessible National Firearms Licensing Register,
  • Stronger laws banning high-powered semi-automatic weapons and pump or lever action rifles, and
  • Tighter restrictions on applications to own a firearm, to avoid misuse of the current “genuine reason” eligibility rule.

The Position Statement is at https://ama.com.au/position-statement/firearms-2017.


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