Australia’s Strict Gun Control Failed to Stop the Fatal Shootings of Three People, Including Two Police Officers


    Two police officers were killed Monday night while investigating a report of a missing person in stringently gun-controlled Australia. A third person was also shot and killed after he heard shots and decided to investigate.

    The New York Post reported that the shooting took place following a police visit to a house in “Wieambilla in Queensland” in response to a tip about the whereabouts of 46-year-old Nathaniel Train.

    Two constables, 26-year-old Matthew Arnold and 29-year-old Rachel McCrow, were shot and killed as they approached the residence, and a third member of law enforcement was shot and wounded. Fifty-eight-year-old Alan Sure was then shot and killed as he walked from his residence to investigate the shootings.

    Additional law-enforcement personnel arrived at the scene and shot three suspects to death.

    The New York Times noted that the state police commissioner, Katarina Carroll, spoke to the media on the outskirts of Chinchilla, Queensland, about the tragic deaths of the constables and Sure, referring to them as “complex and horrendous.”

    Carroll said, “This event is the largest loss of police life we have suffered in a single incident in many years. It is going to take us a number of days, if not weeks, to unravel every single aspect of the scene.”

    The University of Sydney's ranks Australia's gun laws in the category of “restrictive,” noting that “the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law” in Australia.

    Furthermore, “automatic and semiautomatic” rifles are not allowed for civilian use, with a few exceptions, such as for museums and other collections. These include “self-loading and pump shotguns, handguns with a [caliber] in excess of .38in with only narrow exemptions, semi-automatic handguns with a barrel length less than 120mm, and revolvers with a barrel length less than 100mm.”

    As for the firearms that are legal to possess, only licensed gun owners are allowed to own them. The process to obtain a gun license in Australia requires that applicants “pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, physical, addiction, domestic violence, residential, and other records.” The applicant also has to provide references from third parties and pass a test regarding gun safety.

    The process of applying for a gun permit comprises “[establishing] a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, gun club membership, hunting, target shooting, firearm collection, pest control, and narrow occupational uses.”

    Self-defense is not an acceptable reason to acquire an Australian gun permit.


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