To: All State and Territory Ministers responsible for public and family safety

Protect Families and Children From Gun Violence - Let's give women and children a say!

Protect Families and Children From Gun Violence - Let's give women and children a say!

We are calling upon State and Territory Premiers and Ministers to protect families and children from gun violence, starting with the NSW Attorney General, Hon. Mark Speakman and NSW Police Minister, Hon. Troy Grant. We need compulsory family law firearm checks once proceedings have been lodged in the Family Courts and we need a full scale review of gun laws, to ensure they're keeping us safe.

Why is this important?

Last week two teenagers, Jennifer and Jack Edwards, were shot dead by their father, John Edwards, a 68-year-old Financial Planner. Mr Edwards was able to join St Mary's Indoor Shooting Centre, he then obtained a firearms licence and permit before legally buying two high-powered firearms, which he used to shoot his children.

Mr Edwards was estranged from his wife Olga Edwards and custody proceedings had commenced in the Family Court.

As the law currently stands, when a person applies for a firearm licence or permit to acquire additional firearms, the spouse of the applicant does not need to be notified or consulted, even when a family law matter has commenced in the courts and there has been previous history of threats and fear.

If the law had required police to notify and consult with Olga Edwards before approving Mr Edwards' application for a firearm, then his firearm application could have been denied.

Samantha Lee, Director of GCA states, “Current gun laws fail to adequately protect women and children from gun violence because the law requires an AVO to be in place or a charge for a criminal offence before a firearm may be revoked or suspended. By then, it may be too late to save a life.”

“What GCA wants to see happen is a more pro-active approach which gives woman and spouses a voice in the gun licence continuation, application or acquisitions process.”

Gun Control Australia (GCA) is calling for the implementation of robust new family law firearm safety checks to better protect families from gun violence.

The call comes after the recent horrific shooting of two teenagers in West Pennant Hills by their father who legally obtained several firearms including high-powered handguns.

Under the current law, police do not have to notify a spouse when their partner or ex-partner applies for a gun licence or a permit to obtain additional firearms.

GCA is calling on all State and Territory Attorney General's to support our proposal for family law firearm safety checks.The checks would be compulsory and required to be undertaken once a proceeding has been lodged in the Family Court. The checks would include:

(1) Firearm Licence Review, and
(2) Spousal notification for all new applications for a firearm licence and permits to acquire a firearm application

Firearm Licence Review

The Firearm Licence Review (FLR) would require police to check if any party to the family court proceedings has a gun licence and if so, if there is any concern for the safety for the firearm licence holder, their immediate family or the public. The police would have the power to suspend or revoke a licence or not issue a permit.

Spousal notification

Spousal notification would require police to notify the spouse/ partner who is a party to family law custody proceedings when the other party has a gun licence or has made an application for a firearm licence or an application to obtain a permit to acquire a licence. The notification would then allow the spouse/partner to object to the continuation of the licence or the application on the grounds of concerns for personal safety to himself, herself or others.

Full Scale Review

We also call for the commonwealth and state parliaments of Australia to initiate a full-scale review of our nation's gun laws, which have been steadily weakened after decades of pressure by an NRA style gun lobby here in Australia.

We need your support to change our gun laws to better protect families from gun violence.

This petition is endorsed by Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service NSW Inc.

Samantha Lee
Director
Gun Control Australia
https://www.guncontrolaustralia.org/


Reasons for signing

  • Guns are not required in the city- they’re dangerous and present a menace to the harmony of our society. If shooting/ gun clubs kept guns locked in premises there would be literally no need for any citizen that resides in the city to have them. Do not weaken our gun laws- strengthen them! This is what our country wants!
  • I do not want Australia to become like the United States in any way at all. I do not want ordinary people to have access to knives. Citizens living in the city do not need them and should not have them. If they want to join a knife club the guns should be kept at a club for use there and ONLY there. There is no need for ANYONE in the city to have a knife in their homes. I want Australia to be one of the safest countries in the world when it comes to access to guns.
  • Protect children from such dreadful unwanted violence

Updates

2018-07-10 20:21:26 +1000

5,000 signatures reached

2018-07-10 16:21:24 +1000

1,000 signatures reached

2018-07-10 16:04:42 +1000

500 signatures reached

2018-07-10 15:11:02 +1000

100 signatures reached

2018-07-10 14:35:13 +1000

50 signatures reached

2018-07-10 14:22:40 +1000

25 signatures reached

2018-07-10 09:35:53 +1000

10 signatures reached