Vice President Kamala Harris called for a major national gun grab as she defended the gun confiscation conducted by the Australian government in 1996.
Speaking at a State Department event in which Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was present, Harris mentioned the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, in which 18 Americans were killed.
“In our country today, the leading cause of death of American children is gun violence.”
“Gun violence has terrorized and traumatized so many of our communities in this country.”
“And let us be clear: it does not have to be this way,” Harris said of gun violence in the United States before pointing to Albanese.
“As our friends in Australia have demonstrated.”
The VP continued to pivot away from domestic gun policy.
At a luncheon honoring the Australian Prime Minister, Vice President Harris addressed the tragedy in Lewiston, Maine last night. Notably, she cited Australia as an example of a nation where mass shootings are not normal. pic.twitter.com/CMLCvp84Au— Symone D. Sanders Townsend (@SymoneDSanders) October 26, 2023
According to a brief on the Australian Parliament’s official website, there is no legal right to gun ownership in Australia “in contrast to the position in the United States,” Fox News noted.
As the outlet continued:
Further, the nation’s laws further mandate that individuals who purchase firearms must have a license, and each firearm they own must be individually registered.
Such a requirement, according to the Australian Parliament brief, contrasts with New Zealand and Canada which require firearm purchasers to obtain a license but allows them to freely purchase firearms after obtaining said license.
Australia’s crackdown on firearm ownership came in 1996 following a spate of widely-publicized mass shootings.
The so-called 1996 National Firearms Agreement banned automatic and semi-automatic firearms, introduced firearm registration, established stricter storage requirements for all firearms, and tightly restricted non-military style semi-automatic rifles and shotguns purchases.
The Australian government also initiated a mandatory gun buyback program, which collected 700,000 privately owned firearms.
former Australian Prime Minister John Howard wrote in a New York Times op-ed in 2013:
“In the end, we won the battle to change gun laws because there was majority support across Australia for banning certain weapons.”
“And today, there is a wide consensus that our 1996 reforms not only reduced the gun-related homicide rate, but also the suicide rate.”
Others within the Democratic Party, including Beto O’Rourke, have proposed similar policies in the United States.
O’Rourke pushed the idea of forcibly confiscating semi-automatic rifles from their owners during his furtive 2020 presidential campaign.