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  • The Prime Minister has shown leadership and the police ministers courage in making the national agreement; and most Australians believe the battle for gun control has been won. Unfortunately, this is not true, as the new laws must now be passed by each state and territory parliament. The gun lobby will use all means available, including a great deal of money, to intimidate politicians at this level into weaken- ing the laws with loopholes. As of mid-August 1996 three states - New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania - have passed satis- factory laws, though they have not set com- mencement dates. The national response is a cultural turning point for Australia, an opportunity to become a society that does something about violence. It has provided an opportunity for our politicians to demonstrate maturity in finally putting party politics aside in the interest of public health. This is a landmark step for our democracy, putting an end to the power of the gun lobby to influence public policy through intimidation.

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