Implementing Australia’s “gun buyback” program in the U.S. would require forcefully taking guns from tens of millions of Americans.
An increasingly common response from pro-gun control activists following a mass shooting is the call for America to implement Australian-style gun control laws as the “solution” to gun violence. Following the horrific mass murder carried out in Las Vegas on Sunday, in which at least 59 people were killed and over 500 injured by a lone gunman perched in a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Australia’s radical gun reform laws of 1996 are once again being invoked as the means of preventing another such heinous act. But those condemning America for failing to follow Australia’s example are not being honest about what that would actually look like in the U.S.
Implementing Australia’s gun control policies first and foremost requires imposing Australia’s euphemistically named “gun buyback” program, the cornerstone of the country’s gun laws. As positive as a “buyback” program sounds, what gun control advocates often conveniently fail to note is that it only works if it is obligatory. The gun buyback is actually government-imposed gun confiscation. There is no opting out. You are handing over the gun that you own legally to the government, or else you will face the point of a gun. The only guns the Australian government allows their citizens to own mut be registered and permitted for specific purposes, and self-defense is not one of those government-sanctioned purposes.
Australia’s gun confiscation was only successful because of its large scale. The government took at least 650,000 guns, or about one-fifth of all guns in the country; higher estimates put the numbers at 1 million and one-third. There are over 300 millions firearms in the U.S. To implement the “buyback” program on the same scale in America would require the forced confiscation of 60 to 100 million guns from tens of millions of Americans.