This is a bit of a depressing thread for me. I guess you will have all heard the
unreasonable ligislation introduced in Australia in 1997.
Now someone asked, how they would enforce it? Well in Australia, they have a great solution to this. They don't.
Anyone who is honest has to jump through all the hoops for a bolt action rifle or single barrelled shotgun. Put up with quite impolite treatment at the police station (the implication being that you are a borderline criminal and they are just waiting to pin something on you). And these guys don't even know their own laws. It took me a lot of trouble at the police counter to get them to process my application in the way the central firearms cell in the state capital said they should -- and give me all my entitlements. This was not an easy thing to do -- standing up to the police in their own station.
It really is like that at the local police stations.
The average public hates gun owners with a passion. The prime minister said he hated guns, and him and the rest made it pretty clear they were not keen on the owners either.
In Australia, despite the size of the country, there is very little public land you can hunt on. In my state, exactly none. Most people over the years who have wanted to hunt have found they could not. They have dropped out. Now little of the population make a rural living, and have little access to land. They don't grow their own food animals and they don't hunt them. They are not vegetarians -- but they hate the idea that someone might get satisfaction from procuring meat for the table for them selves. They have no affinity with gun owners and hunters, because they have no opportunity to develop one. So the hunter and gun owner are very poorly thought of indeed, and are treated that way by police and the general public. Just over the Tasman in NZ, the culture is totally different (and they have lots of public land to hunt on).
Now, while gun owners are lambasted at every opportunity little is done to curb illegal gun ownership -- by the really dangerous types. 80 % of crime committed with firearms is committed with illegal firearms or by people not licensed to have them. There is a veritable flood of pistols into the country through the same channels as drugs. I can't have one, but you can almost guarantee in some areas of the country that the junkies breaking in will have.
The Institute of Criminology (not sure of the official name) indicated that no further pistol legislation was warranted when there was a crime in Melbourne involving pistols in a lecture theatre a few years ago, but the federal govt used the crime to allow them to bring in a heap of new anti handgun legilsation banning a range of pistols: handguns with less than a certain barrel length; auto's .45 and above -- all gone.
While the gun owner has been hammered, just guess what one fine Queenslander received as a sentence after being found in possession of two or three stolen pistols, three rifles, and a couple of shotguns? He was only intending to sell them to a drug dealer, which seems wise since he could have scored a whole heap more drugs with $14 000 worth of firearms.
This guy got 150 hours of community service. A recent article in the Australian Shooter has a whole list of these cases. The average Australian is so set against legitamate firearms owners yet this is going on.
So your government may not adequately enforce these laws, but the honest people will abide by them. You might hide your guns, but watch what will happen when you happen to defend yourselves with them in your own home, even with good reason.
So I would rather be a Kiwi. I lived there for a couple of years, and I could love that country. In Australia I guess I feel a bit like the aborigines must have felt - dispossessed in my own country, when I've spent my life being an upstanding citizen.
So that is what you would be in for. The only hope you could have is if such a move got the same response as I have heard was recieved in Canada. Didn't everyone uniformly just ignore the calls for bans?
Oh and guess what, the statistics from an analysis of the gun grab/buyback in Australia in 1997 are in and published in a peer reviewed scientific journal. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the buyback has had not effect on violent crime in general in Australia. Before the buyback there was a statistically verifiable trend of decreased gun violence since the 1970's. That trend did not change at all with the buyback.