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Gun Buyback Scheme, Australia, 1996-1997

Gun Buyback Scheme, Australia, 1996-1997

Prime Minister John Howard radically reformed Australia’s gun laws in October 1996 following the Port Arthur Massacre in Tasmania in which gunman, Martin Bryant, killed 35 people and injured 23 others in a shooting spree with two semi-automatic firearms. At the time of the massacre, gun registration in Tasmania only applied to handguns, not to semi-automatic weapons, while people suffering from significant mental disabilities, like Martin Bryant, were permitted to purchase firearms.

Under the guidance of the federal government, all Australian states and territories introduced new laws that reduced the availability of self-loading firearms. The government also coordinated a 12-month, compulsory buyback scheme in which it purchased privately-owned semi-automatic weapons.

By the end of the scheme on 30 September 1997, the government had purchased and destroyed around 630,000 firearms at a cost of $350 million. The funds for this were raised through a temporary increase to the Medicare levy. While the majority of Australians supported these reforms, gun owners and minor political groups protested fiercely their right to own semi-automatic weapons.
NSW Premier Bob Carr, right,
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NSW Premier Bob Carr, right,
Walter Mikac, whose wife and
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Walter Mikac, whose wife and
Walter Mikac, whose wife and
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Walter Mikac, whose wife and
Linda Wanders, right, a survivor
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Linda Wanders, right, a survivor
Protesters hold a 'Lest we
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Protesters hold a 'Lest we
Linda Wanders, right, a survivor
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Linda Wanders, right, a survivor
Some 4000 guns that have
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Some 4000 guns that have
guns;971204;shd;news;dec 7;pic by jacky ghossein;pic
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guns;971204;shd;news;dec 7;pic by jacky ghossein;pic...
guns;971204;shd;news;dec 7;pic by jacky ghossein;pic
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guns;971204;shd;news;dec 7;pic by jacky ghossein;pic...
Hundreds of thousands of guns
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Hundreds of thousands of guns
Police minister John Watkins looks
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Police minister John Watkins looks
The Chair of the Coalition
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The Chair of the Coalition
Thousands of handguns handed in
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Thousands of handguns handed in
Protesters opposed to current gun
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Protesters opposed to current gun
Anti gun rally, Parliament House,
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Anti gun rally, Parliament House,
Walter Mikac, right, whose family
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Walter Mikac, right, whose family
Prime Minister John Howard delivers
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Prime Minister John Howard delivers
Prime Minister John Howard, left,
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Prime Minister John Howard, left,
Prime Minister John Howard proposes
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Prime Minister John Howard proposes
Port Arthur Massacre survivors Linda
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Port Arthur Massacre survivors Linda
Colin Prout, a survivor of
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Colin Prout, a survivor of
Prime Minister John Howard wearing
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Prime Minister John Howard wearing
Five-year-old Alice Byrne gets a
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Five-year-old Alice Byrne gets a
Alice Byrne, 5, lying down
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Alice Byrne, 5, lying down
The Minister for Justice and
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The Minister for Justice and
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Sunshine Firearm Collection Centre, Melbourne, during the gun buyback scheme, 1997
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Sunshine Firearm Collection Centre, Melbourne, during...
Firearms surrendered for destruction during the gun buyback scheme, Melbourne, 1997
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Firearms surrendered for destruction during the gun...
Firearms surrendered for destruction during the gun buyback scheme, Melbourne, 1997
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Firearms surrendered for destruction during the gun...
Shooters Party protests gun law reform, Cessnock, 1996
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Shooters Party protests gun law reform, Cessnock, 1996...
Gun Lobby protests gun law reform, Melbourne, 1996
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Gun Lobby protests gun law reform, Melbourne, 1996
Michael Cobb speaks about gun law reform, National Party conference, Sydney, 1996
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Michael Cobb speaks about gun law reform, National...
Dairy farmer, Wilf Wright, is not in favour of gun law reforms, 1996
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Dairy farmer, Wilf Wright, is not in favour of gun...
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