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Sunday, April 10

Keep Australia safe from gun violence by signing our petition

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is calling on the Australian and state and territory governments to maintain the gun legislation, which was introduced in the aftermath of the Port Arthur tragedy.


The petition calls for the retention of the National Firearms Agreement 1996, which was enacted just months after the Port Arthur tragedy including the banning of all semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the community. It also calls on all governments to keep our firearm laws strong and to restrict dangerous guns like the rapid fire shotgun Adler A110.
Walter Mikac, whose daughters Alannah and Madeline and wife Nanette died with 32 others at Port Arthur, worked with then Prime Minister the Hon John Howard to introduce the legislation.

Since its enactment there has not been one mass shooting - four or more victims - in Australia. In the decade prior to Port Arthur there were 11 mass shootings.

Now, worryingly, 20 years after our nation acted to stop more firearm deaths, certain individuals and groups are calling for Australia's gun laws to be loosened. This risks putting our children in danger again.

Mr Mikac said there was no reason for Australians to own semi-automatic or automatic guns as legalising these weapons would only raise the risk of danger and death for more Australians.
He said it was his own personal goal, as well as the Foundation's, to ensure no one else experienced the trauma that he went through 20 years ago.

"A significant legacy and one of the only good things to come of the 1996 Port Arthur tragedy, the day I lost my wife and children, was the establishment of the National Firearms Agreement 1996 Mr Mikac said.


"The Alannah & Madeline Foundation opposes any changes to laws that could increase access to firearms and the affiliated increased risk of higher rates of homicides, suicide, or unintentional harms from the use of firearms."
Like Mr Mikac, US President Barack Obama has continually applauded the Australian Government's decision to enact tougher gun laws, calling on his own Congress to follow suit.

On October 1, 2015, President Obama made a point of naming both Australia and Great Britain as countries that have "crafted laws that have almost eliminated mass shootings".

Australia has been identified as a leader in reducing deaths through gun violence and changing the National Firearms Agreement would reverse all the good work that was done in the aftermath of the Port Arthur tragedy.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said it was vital that as many people as possible signed the petition to ensure all Australians are kept safe from any further gun violence.

"It is essential that the gun laws introduced in 1996 are retained now and into the future for the safety of our children, their children and all generations to come," Ms Podesta said.

The petition can be signed at www.amf.org.au from April 8.