Examines gun laws and gun related violence in Australia.
Clarification of the purpose of this inquiry
In response to this inquiry, the committee received over 400 submissions, many of which were concerned about the impact the inquiry might have on the ownership and use of firearms.
It is important to clarify from the outset that the main focus of this inquiry was on illicit firearms in Australia. While some of the terms of reference refer to regulation of registered firearms that are legally held, this is in the context of ensuring that these are not diverted to the illicit market. The committee appreciates that the majority of firearm owners comply with the relevant legislation and acknowledges the work of the various firearms organisations in promoting the safe use and storage of firearms. The committee also recognises the number of Australians who participate in the sport of shooting.
The committee would also like to clarify the terminology used throughout this inquiry. As noted by the Attorney-General's Department (AGD) in its submission, firearms and firearm-related articles are not in themselves either legal or illegal.