DVRCV has been a proud member of the Australian Gun Safety Alliance since 2018. We have joined nearly 30 other organisations in support of efforts to protect Australia’s strong gun safety framework.
The Australian Gun Safety Alliance (AGSA) is a coalition of voices representing the interests of the community in ensuring that we maintain vigilance on issues of gun safety.
Stephen Bendle is the convenor of the Alliance and works with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation. The Foundation was established after the tragic mass shooting in Port Arthur in 1996 where young sisters Alannah and Madeline Mikac, along with their mother Nanette were killed by a single gunman.
Stephen says that “AGSA is not politically aligned and receives no corporate or individual donations. It is funded by philanthropic donations and in-kind services by members.”
He adds that “all States and Territories, along with the Commonwealth, signed the National Firearms agreement in 1996 and renewed their commitment in 2017. Unfortunately, nearly 25 years later, not a single jurisdiction is fully compliant with the Agreement.”
The AGSA understands that most gun owners in Australia are law-abiding, responsible people who are not criminals. However, Australian Governments must do everything in their power to avoid a slide towards an American culture of gun entitlement.
The AGSA believes that the onus of firearm laws and regulations should be on public safety and not for the convenience or commercial interests of a few. This is the overriding principle of the National Firearms Agreement which has served Australians well.
The role of firearms in family violence is well known.
According to the Women’s Legal Service Qld:
- gunshot wounds are the third most common cause of death in domestic homicide
- abusers who use or threaten to use a weapon are 20 times more likely to kill their victim
- violent intimate partners who have access to firearms engage in more severe domestic violence than those who do not.
Following the Port Arthur shooting in 1996, Australia’s gun reforms have been recognised by the Public Health Association of Australia as one of our top 10 public health successes of the last 20 years. At the time, 90% of Australians supported the bipartisan approach to the introduction of a National Firearms Agreement that established a national framework for the regulation of firearms.
The Australian Gun Safety Alliance continues to speak to governments in all jurisdictions, monitor amendments to firearm legislation and regulations, and speak on behalf of those committed to the health and safety of the community in policy discussions.