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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97755 Find in a Library
Title: Firearms - Is Complete Control by Legislation Possible and Necessary?
Journal: Australian Police  Volume:38  Issue:4  Dated:(October-December 1984)  Pages:126-138
Author(s): J F Forster
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: The gun control law in New South Wales, Australia, is examined and compared with laws in Queensland, Australia; the United States; England; and Wales. Criminal and accidental use of weapons in New South Wales are considered, and changes in the law are recommended.
Abstract: The Firearms and Dangerous Weapons Act of 1973 regulates the purchase, possession, use, carrying, and sale of firearms in New South Wales. It also prohibits the possession of certain dangerous weapons and articles, such as machine guns and blow gun darts. The law requires licenses, but not for weapons used on private property. Queensland has a law which restricts firearms use by persons under age 17 and contains numerous other provisions which police authorities believe safeguard citizens. Laws in the United States vary widely from State to State, a situation which is not conducive to effective law enforcement. The Federal law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968 compensates for some of the deficiencies in some State laws, but the use of a Federal law is less desirable than uniform sets of State rules. The Firearms Act of 1968 provides extensive controls in England and Wales and gives relatively wide powers to the police. In New South Wales, the total number of guns is unknown due to the lack of controls on the use of guns on private property. The number of homicides and the rate of firearms use in robberies in New South Wales in comparison to other areas may relate to the relative severity of the laws in the different jurisdictions. Figures on firearms accidents are probably unreliable. The law in New South Wales is inadequate in several areas. All people owning and using firearms should go through the shooters licensing process, and applications should be made at police stations. License applicants should describe all their weapons and should have a certificate of competency from an approved pistol or rifle club. Eleven references and appendixes presenting forms and data tables are included.
Index Term(s): Australia; England; Firearms acts; Gun Control; Law reform; United States of America; Wales
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