Outlines the nature of the contemporary issues.
On Sunday, 28 April 1996, Martin Bryant set off for Port Arthur, about an hour drive from his home in Hobart. On his way he stopped off at a guesthouse called the Seascape cottage where he killed the owners, David and Noelene Martin. Once Bryant had made it to Port Arthur he had a meal at the Broad arrow cafe. After finishing his meal, Bryant walked back into the Broad Arrow cafe, took out an AR-15 semi automatic rifle and opened fire indiscriminately. After the cafe Bryant moved into the gift shop and car park where he pulled out an automatic weapon and once again open fired at the general public. After just 90 seconds, 20 people were dead and 12 were injured. After leaving other four people dead in the car park he began to drive down the road continuing to shoot at innocent people. Bryant arrived at a petrol station after killing another seven people, at the petrol station he forced a male driver of a car into his boot and killed the female passenger. Bryant returned to the Seascape cottage were he took a hostage inside and set fire to his car. An 18 hour standoff with police ensued as Bryant claimed he had hostages. Eventually Bryant set fire to the house and ran from the house where he was then captured by police. By the time Martin Bryant was finished 35 people were dead.
Bryant was charges with 35 counts of murder, 20 of attempted murder, four of aggravated assault, eight of wounding, three of causing grievous bodily harm, one of arson and one of unlawfully setting fire to property.
On 22 November 1996 Bryant received 35 sentences of life imprisonment without parole for the murders and 21 years for each of the other counts in the indictment. in total Bryant received 35 life sentence plus 1035 years without parole.
Legal response to this issue
After the massacre at Port Arthur the Australian government proposed tight new gun laws. This proposal included a ban on all