Get guns out of the sub­urbs, say docs

Sunday Mail - - NEWS - STEPHEN DRILL AN­NIKA SMETHURST

DOC­TORS want sport­ing shoot­ers to store weapons at gun clubs in­stead of their homes in one of the big­gest shake ups of gun laws since the Port Arthur mas­sacre.

The Aus­tralian Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion has called on politi­cians to over­haul gun laws, show­ing the lead­er­ship that John Howard did fol­low­ing Martin Bryant’s mass killing.

Vic­tims groups have warned there are stock­piles of guns in sub­ur­ban ar­eas and the Sun­day Mail un­der­stands au­thor­i­ties have con­sid­ered gun club stor­age, con­cerned about crim­i­nals steal­ing guns from le­git­i­mate own­ers to use in crimes.

The call comes just days af­ter the Las Ve­gas shoot­ing, where crazed gun­man Stephen Pad­dock killed 58 con­cert­go­ers.

AMA pres­i­dent Michael Gannon said gun clubs were the safest place to store weapons. “Farm­ers should be stor­ing weapons se­curely on their prop­erty but there’s no rea­son a sport­ing shooter in a metropoli­tan area needs to keep a gun at home,” he said.

The Alan­nah & Made­line Foun­da­tion, set up to hon­our three vic­tims of Port Arthur said tak­ing guns out of the home would im­prove safety.

“We have let in­di­vid­u­als stock­pile huge num­bers of firearms in sub­ur­ban ar­eas ... stor­ing firearms at gun clubs makes sense,” its chief ex­ec­u­tive Les­ley Podesta said.

There has also been calls to fast track a real-time na­tional gun reg­is­ter, which gov­ern­ment sources have told the Sun­day Mail would not be op­er­a­tional un­til late 2018.

South Aus­tralia Po­lice Min­is­ter Chris Pic­ton said: “The pos­ses­sion and use of firearms is a priv­i­lege con­di­tional on the over­rid­ing need to en­sure pub­lic safety.”

Sport­ing Shoot­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia spokes­woman Kate Fan­tinel said putting guns at clubs would mean the clubs “es­sen­tially be­come a su­per­mar­ket for guns”.

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