Surgeons support plan to strengthen New Zealand gun laws

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19 March 2019

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) condemns the horrific violence and senseless loss of life from the shootings at two Christchurch mosques last Friday and fully supports the New Zealand government's decision to strengthen the country's gun laws.

John Batten, RACS President, says RACS recognises the seriousness and frequency of trauma associated with firearms in New Zealand and Australia.

"Many of our Fellows and Trainees are continuing to work tirelessly at Christchurch Hospital and in Auckland with the people injured and their families. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the people who have died and those who were injured in Christchurch on Friday.

"Everything that can be done must be done to prevent an atrocious event like this from ever happening again. We fully support the New Zealand government's decision to take swift action to introduce strict gun control. This must include the banning of semi-automatic firearms. We also call for compulsory training, education, the registration of firearms and not just the licensing of gun owners.

"The introduction of strong gun laws in Australia, after an equally tragic event at Port Arthur in 1996, has proven to be one of Australia's most successful public health measures."

Download full media release (PDF 23KB)