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UNSW Press UNSW Press

Gun Control

What Australia got right (and wrong)

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'A masterpiece of analysis of the politics of transformative change.' — Otago Daily Times

In the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre on 28 April 1996 – when a gunman murdered 35 people and injured another 23 at a popular Tasmanian tourist attraction – John Howard, a conservative prime minister who had been in office for just six weeks, surprised his colleagues and startled the nation by moving swiftly to transform Australia's lax firearm laws. The National Firearms Agreement, produced just twelve days after the massacre with support from all levels of government and across the political divide, is now held up around the world as a model for gun control.

Gun Control analyses whether the Australian Government achieved its intention and what it might have done in response to the massacre, and didn't.

'Anyone interested in learning how a democratic nation reduced senseless gun deaths needs to read this.' — Jeffrey Bleich, former US Ambassador to Australia