Australia’s gun laws were dramatically amended after Australia experienced the ‘worst lone gun massacre’ the world had seen at Port Arthur in Tasmania. The framework for this change was prevention before cure. It was a departure from the traditional “criminal justice” approach to gun control towards a “public health approach”. In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre there had been 13 gun massacres in Australia. But after the implementation of Australia’s stronger gun laws, we have not had to experience another gun massacre. This talk will examine why this “public health” model has been so beneficial to Australia, and the challenges ahead for preventing this model being undermined.
About Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee, a lawyer, has been the Chair of Gun Control Australia (GCA) for over ten years. She has participated in the United Nations Small Arms and Light Weapons conference in New York as part of an Australian delegation. She was awarded a Churchill Travelling Fellowship to travel to study ways to prevent handgun violence in Australia by looking at models in America, Canada and the United Kingdom.