Belfast Telegraph

Matt Damon: 'Why can't America enact sensible gun laws like Australia'

The actor feels talking about stricter gun laws is a non-starter in the U.S.

Matt Damon has urged American leaders to take notes from their Australian counterparts on gun laws.

Following a mass shooting in 1996, politicians in Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement and Buyback Program. As part of the law, citizens who want to own guns have to give a legitimate reason why they need the weapon and they also have to undergo firearm safety training courses, wait 30 days for all gun license applications and undergo police background checks.

There have been a number of mass shootings in the U.S. in the past 20 years, but politicians have yet to pass any legislation to deal with the problem.

"You guys did it here in one fell swoop and I wish that could happen in my country, but it's such a personal issue for people that we cannot talk about it sensibly." Damon says during a chat Down Under. "People get so emotional that even when you make a suggestion about not selling AK-47s to people on terror watch lists, that's a non-starter. I don't know what needs to happen."

The 45-year-old insists the issue of mass shootings alone won't prompt politicians to take action.

"There have been so many of them at this point," he continues. "Sandy Hook, when those children were murdered, if that didn't do it, you know, I just don't know. Maybe we just need to evolve further before we can have that conversation, I don't know."

The Departed star's comments come just weeks after Omar Mateen opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and killed 49 people and injured 53 others in June (16) with a semi-automatic rifle. Mateen had a background of unstable behaviour and many gun critics believe he should never have been sold the weapon.

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