Get guns out of our suburbs
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 is backed by victims’ groups and senior police, who have considered gun club storage because they are concerned about guns being stolen from homes.
AMA president Michael Gannon said gun clubs were the safest place to store weapons. “Farmers should be storing weapons 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, which was set up to honour two sisters killed at Port Arthur, backed the push with chief executive Lesley Podesta saying: “We have let individuals stockpile huge numbers of firearms in suburban areas ... storing firearms at gun clubs makes sense.”
There have also been urgent calls to fast track a realtime national gun register, first proposed in 1996. In February, state leaders agreed to provide “sufficient information” to create a national system operated by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
Ms Podesta said she was “at a loss” as to why the real-time register wasn’t operating yet.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said information is being migrated to the new system but government sources said the real-time register would not start until late 2018.
Coralee Lever’s husband, Dennis, was murdered at Port Arthur which was the couple’s first holiday in 15 years. “There shouldn’t be guns in homes. People feel guns give them power but it’s the wrong sort of power,” she said.
Sporting Shooters’ spokeswoman Kate Fantinel said putting guns at clubs was impractical.