In light of a distressing episode where a 15-year-old boy allegedly fired a rifle at school, Western Australia is preparing to enact the most stringent gun laws in a country which already has significant gun law reforms.
This disturbing event, which sparked a lockdown in Perth, has intensified calls for swift legislative action.
WA Premier Mark McGowan declared an imminent overhaul of the Firearms Act today, prompted by the arrest of the teen who purportedly carried two rifles into Atlantis Beach Baptist College in Two Rocks.
The suspect allegedly fired numerous shots on the premises, causing a significant scare. No students or staff were hurt in the incident.
Reacting to the incident, the Premier observed that such scenes are "not a thing you expect to see happen in Australia," and committed to "dramatic reform" aimed at curbing the proliferation of guns in the state.
"These are the images you see on American television broadcasts," the Premier said. He expressed urgency in initiating sweeping reforms to the gun laws, saying, "We are moving as quickly as we can to dramatically reform gun laws."
Current records reveal about 360,000 licenced firearms in the state, a figure that has been escalating in recent times, according to McGowan. He declared this number as "far too many" and expressed concerns about Australia descending into the "terrible abyss" that he claims America has "unfortunately fallen into due to unchecked gun control."
While the specifics of the reforms are yet to be revealed, McGowan indicated that firearm licences should be granted only to individuals with "legitimate reasons." These sweeping legislative changes are anticipated to come into effect later this year.
Commenting on the widespread shock resulting from the incident, McGowan said, "You never think this would happen here, in Western Australia, in Two Rocks of all places."
He further underscored his resolve to tackle the problem, contrasting it with the United States' seeming reluctance to address their gun issues.
The Atlantis Beach Baptist College staff, meanwhile, have commended the prompt and efficient response of the police to the incident. The alleged shooter's motive is not yet determined, but it's believed he is a former student. Premier McGowan confirmed the teenager remains in police custody.
Expressing his gratitude to the college staff and students for their courage and appropriate response during the ordeal, McGowan recognised the event's probable lasting impact on those involved. He extended thanks to the first responders and affirmed his dedication to reducing the state's gun numbers, notwithstanding potential backlash.
"Some people will be very angry about it, but we have to ensure there are fewer guns," he declared, displaying unwavering commitment to this significant reform.