US should follow Australia on guns: Congressman

Malcolm Turnbull's visit to the United States comes as debate again rages across America about gun laws.

Malcolm Turnbull's visit to the United States comes as debate again rages across America about gun laws. Photo: Getty

America should follow Australia’s example on gun laws, a US congressman from the state that suffered the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre says.

Representative Jim Hines, a Democrat from Connecticut will join teenage survivors from last week’s school shooting in Florida in a new campaign for stricter gun control measures.

Last Wednesday 17 students and teachers were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with a 19-year-old former student charged with the deadly rampage.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Washington DC visit with US President Donald Trump on Wednesday will likely see media and activists point to Australia’s response to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre as a model for tougher gun control.

“In the 1990s when there was a brutal mass killing in Australia, Australia passed laws that made it much harder to get your hands on weapons of war like the AR-15 which was used in this (Florida) and so many other school killings and they haven’t had any other since then,” Mr Hines told CNN on Tuesday.

Mr Hines said the National Rifle Association attempts to scare Americans into thinking their guns might be confiscated with stricter regulations.

“Nobody wants to take away people’s guns,” Mr Hines said.

“We just don’t want to be any different than Canada, or Australia, or Great Britain where you can get guns.

“You just get checked out.

“You can’t get weapons of war.”

Following the Sandy Hook massacre that left 20 children aged between six and seven-years-old and six staff dead, Connecticut introduced stricter state rules but the US Senate rejected national assault weapon bans, instead increasing background check legislation.


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