Canberra Australia -- November 8 2002 -- The
Federal Government has revealed a list of 259 types of handguns it wants
to ban, including Smith & Wesson 357 revolvers, the Beretta Tomcat,
Colt pistols and the Glock pistol.
Sporting shooters said last night a preliminary look at the list, released by Justice Minister Chris Ellison, indicated some competitive shooters would have to give up weapons but it broadly supported the ban.
However, the National Coalition for Gun Control said the list failed to live up to Prime Minister John Howard's pledge to crack down on semi-automatic handguns.
Senator Ellison also released the list of 12 world shooting sporting events that would be exempt from the crackdown.
The events were selected after consulting sporting shooters, elite athletes and gun dealers and aimed to protect legitimate sporting shooters.
The 259 banned guns were selected after the exempt events were chosen. The government said it was not a final list. It has been given to state police ministers and to a police minister's council working group for further advice.
Senator Ellison said the government believed the guns on the list "fall outside of any legitimate sporting activity".
The National Coalition for Gun Control's co-chairman, Roland Browne, said the American-produced Shooters Bible listed 330 semi-automatic handgun models, meaning the government would be leaving some lethal weapons in the community.
"There are about 80 models in about 250 different configurations missing from this list," he said.
"This list falls well short of what the Prime Minister proposed because it doesn't include a ban on all semi-automatic handguns. People wanting to shoot competitively ought to be satisfied with single-shot guns. That is the position in Australia with rifles after the 1996 firearms agreement."
Atlanta Olympic Games shooting gold medallist Russell Mark said last night he supported the list as a "move in the right direction".
But Mr Mark, an Australian Olympic Committee athlete representative, said the technical details would be crucial.
He said more detail was needed, for example, about the Smith & Wesson model 686 because there were many different types of that model with differing barrel size and other features. He said it was a gun used by competitive shooters.
"The government needs to specify the barrel size of the gun and other technical details," he said.
Sporting Shooters Association executive director Gary Fleetwood said the group wanted a closer look at the details and required more information about technical specifications, but broadly supported the government list of guns to be banned.
Victoria Amateur Pistol Association secretary Eddie Evans said the list made no sense because it included weapons regularly used in international and national competitions while also failing to include identical weapons made by alternative manufacturers.
"Whoever put this list together does not know what they're doing," he said.
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