eCite Digital Repository

Judging a book by its cover: the challenges of prohibiting firearms by their appearance


Diprose Adams, S, Judging a book by its cover: the challenges of prohibiting firearms by their appearance, The University of Tasmania Law Review, 36, (2) pp. 49-67. ISSN 0082-2108 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 University of Tasmania Law Review

Official URL:


This article explores the legal and administrative challenges associated with prohibiting firearms based on their appearance. The article begins by discussing recent events in Tasmania that put the spotlight on laws prohibiting certain firearms following this approach. It then examines the legislative context of Tasmania's Firearms Act 1996, including the development of gun control laws. This is followed by an examination of the challenges faced and identified by other jurisdictions in enforcing comparable laws. The most notable challenge identified is the inconsistency in prohibition arising from subjective decisions about a firearm's appearance. Finally, the article puts forward two possible public policy reasons behind the decision to enforce a prohibition of firearms by appearance. Whilst there is considerable literature on the broader debates around gun control and the effectiveness of Australian gun laws, there is relatively little literature that examines the interplay between legislation, administration, and policy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:firearms, guns, gun control, appearance; National Firearms Agreement, Firearms Act, prohibition
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law in context
Research Field:Law and society and socio-legal research
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Legislation, civil and criminal codes
UTAS Author:Diprose Adams, S (Mr Samuel Diprose Adams)
ID Code:140625
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2020-08-31
Last Modified:2020-10-29

Repository Staff Only: item control page