Significant win with firearm reform… | Alannah & Madeline Foundation Skip to main content

For the past 27 years since its inception, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation has been taking decisive action to enhance public safety, agitating for stronger and more responsible firearm legislation in Australia so children and families can thrive without fear of gun violence.

It has been a long road, however we are pleased to share that our hard-fought advocacy efforts have yielded significant progress, with key milestones achieved at both national and state levels.

In December, the Prime Minister, Attorney General and all Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed to implement the final unfulfilled part of the National Firearms Agreement that was agreed to in 1996 to regulate firearms in Australia.

This commitment, 27 years after the Port Arthur tragedy, reflects the collective efforts of advocates, policymakers, and stakeholders, who alongside the Foundation are dedicated to promoting public safety and preventing firearm-related harm.

The creation of a National Firearms Register represents a significant advancement in Australia's approach to firearm regulation.

What is the National Firearms Register?

The National Firearms Agreement was established in the wake of the Port Arthur tragedy in 1996 and was reconfirmed by all jurisdictions in 2017 – despite this, no jurisdiction has been fully compliant.

A key aspect of the National Firearms Agreement is the establishment of the National Firearms Register, to provide a single source of information across all jurisdictions to assist law enforcement agencies to protect themselves and the community from gun violence.

While Australia has some of the strongest firearm laws in the world, the register will address significant gaps and inconsistencies in the way firearms are managed across all jurisdictions.

The register will be a federated model – in which state data connects with a central data hub allowing near real-time information sharing across the country.

West Australia leads the nation with strongest gun laws.

More recently the Foundation’s advocacy efforts have also led to commendable progress at the state level with the announcement by the Western Australian government of the implementation the strongest gun laws in the country.

The WA Minister for Police, Paul Papalia’s announcement in February signifies a commitment to elevating public safety as the primary purpose of the proposed Firearms Amendment Bill. These reforms will help keep Western Australians safe from firearm violence and reduce the likelihood of criminal access to dangerous firearms.

The 2017 National Firearms Agreement states clearly that the use and possession of a firearm is a privilege, with public safety as the primary factor. The Agreement also invites jurisdictions to adopt additional and more restrictive regulations.

The Foundation commends the Western Australian government for their proactive stance on firearm reform and applaud their dedication to prioritising the safety and wellbeing of the community. Our hope is that other states and territories will now follow their example and enact stricter regulations and more robust measures across the country. You can read more about the different firearm laws across Australia here.

As we celebrate these hard-won achievements, we recognise that our work is far from over. Unfortunately, coming up to 28 years since the National Firearms Agreement was signed, no state or territory government in Australia is fully compliant with the Agreement. The Alannah & Madeline Foundation will remain vigilant in advocating to ensure Australia’s gun laws remain responsible, safe and strong. We will continue to build a future where children – and all people – can live safe from gun-related violence.