WA to get 'toughest gun laws in Australia' after school shooting
The "toughest gun laws in Australia" will be imposed in Western Australia after a 15-year-old boy allegedly fired a rifle on school grounds, sparking a lockdown in Perth.
WA Premier Mark McGowan today vowed to reform the Firearms Act following the arrest of a teenager who allegedly brought two rifles to Atlantis Beach Baptist College in Two Rocks yesterday, firing multiple shots.
He said the scenes were "not a thing you expect to see happen in Australia" and promised "dramatic reform" to reduce the number of guns in the state.
READ MORE: Teenage boy arrested after firing gun in Perth school carpark
"This is the thing you see on television in the United States," the premier said.
"We are moving as quickly as we can to dramatically reform gun laws."
He said there are currently 360,000 licenced firearms in the state, and that the number had "increased in recent years".
"That's far too many," McGowan added.
"We need to stop ourselves falling into that terrible abyss that America has fallen into."
McGowan did not disclose what reforms would be made, but said licences should only be held by people with "legitimate reasons".
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The reforms are expected to be implemented later this year.
"You never think this would happen here, in Western Australia, in Two Rocks of all places," McGowan said.
"In my view, the problem with America is the prevalence of guns and they have no appetite to deal with it – but we're going to deal with it."
So far in 2023 alone, there have been more than 200 mass shootings across the US, including 23 at schools that resulted in injuries or deaths.
"If kids can get access to keys to access firearms that's not good enough," McGowan said.
"They should not be able to get access to any firearms."
Meanwhile, staff at the Atlantis Beach Baptist College have praised police's response to the incident yesterday.
While the alleged shooter's motive remains unknown, he is believed to be a former student and McGowan confirmed the teen is still in police custody.
"In terms of the staff and students I'd like to congratulate them on their bravery," he said
"They acted appropriately and with the utmost caution.
"Can I congratulate all of them on what they did yesterday? Obviously, it was traumatic and it will no doubt have a lasting impact on those involved.
The premier also thanked first police responders, "who reacted very quickly" and "arrived on the scene to what could have been a very, very difficult situation".
He acknowledged reforms may not please everyone, but that he remains determined to reduce the number of guns in the state despite criticim. ate.
"Some people will be very angry about it, but we have to make sure there are fewer guns," he said.
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