Australia spent hundreds of millions of dollars to buy back firearms in the mid-90's. Like all do-gooder projects, the government felt this would keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Like all do-gooder legislation that's not been properly thought through, it's been a massive failure.
Never ones to give up hope, however, the current government of Queensland has decided it wasn't enough to register all toy and imitation guns as well.
Airsoft guns are already banned in most Australian states, and it seems that squirt-guns from the dollar store are next on the "hit parade".
Failure to register an imitation gun (read toy), will carry a maximum fine of $4,500 and failure to store your toy guns securely could net you a $750 fine.
The language of the proposed law is sufficiently ambiguous that your bar of soap in the shape of a handgun, or even your handgun cuff-links could land an individual big fines.
Australians, for some reason, are allowing this garbage to go on, when in 2007 it came to light that Australian police and military officers were selling guns and even anti-tank missiles right from government armories.
These guns and anti-tank missiles were being sold to organized crime.
And while the authorities crack down on your cuff-links and other gun toys, Australia's illegal gun trade continues to expand. And don't think the people selling these guns are doing it out of some sense of civic duty... your basic revolver will cost you about two grand. A semi-auto pistol can run you five grand.
And they can't keep the guns in stock.
"According to police, the average illegal handgun user is male, aged in his late teens to early 20s and linked to a criminal gang, usually involved in the drug trade." says one article.
Shocking. Drug dealers owning guns. Who'd have thunk it?
If you want to read what's probably next in store for Canadians, given the national penchant of politicians wanting to be seen to be doing something about "gun control", visit the Queensland Police website, and download your own copy of the Draft weapons laws 2010, and the Draft weapons regulations 2010. You likely won't enjoy the read.