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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26610


Senator Ludwig asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 22 July 2004:

(1) Will the proposed free trade agreement with the United States of America affect any aspect of the regulation of firearms in Australia.

(2) Will the proposed agreement affect the regulation of the importing, sale, distribution, marketing, or regulation of firearms in Australia in any way.

(3) Can the Minister confirm that the proposed agreement will not result in any amendments to any of the laws or regulations governing any aspect of the control and regulation of firearms in Australia.

(4) Has any agency in the Minister's portfolio undertaken an analysis of the proposed agreement to ascertain the effect this agreement would have on all aspects of the regulation of firearms in Australia; if so: (a) which agency undertook the analysis; and (b) are the results publicly available.

(5) What provisions exist in the proposed agreement that would prevent the United States' small arms industry mounting in Australia a marketing campaign for the sale of guns that are manufactured in the United States.


Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The following answer has been provided by the Minister for Trade to the honourable senator's question:

(1) No. The Agreement does not affect the regulation of firearms in Australia. Most significantly, the services and investment chapters contain a reservation preserving Australia's right to introduce new market access restrictions on wholesale and retail trade in firearms. Furthermore, the general exceptions provisions allow the use of measures otherwise inconsistent with the Agreement that are necessary to ensure the protection and safety of the community.

(2) No.

(3) Yes. The proposed agreement will not result in any amendments to any of the laws or regulations governing any aspect of the control and regulation of firearms in Australia.

(4) No. The Agreement will have no affect on the regulation of firearms, so no further analysis of this issue has been required.

(5) There is nothing in the Agreement which would limit the right of the Parties to regulate firearms, including their marketing, for public policy purposes such as the protection and safety of the community.