Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he did not want to lecture America about gun control, after he was pressed on the politically fraught subject during a press conference with US President Donald Trump.
Mr Trump’s hosting of Mr Turnbull at the White House comes just days after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Florida.
During a joint press conference, Mr Turnbull was asked if he spoke to Mr Trump about toughening gun laws, like Australia did after the Port Arthur massacre.
Mr Turnbull trod carefully, making it clear he was satisfied with Australia’s gun laws, but declining to advise Mr Trump to follow a similar path.
“It’s a completely different context historically, legally and so forth,” Mr Turnbull said.
“We are very satisfied with our laws, but we certainly don’t presume to provide policy or political advice on that matter here.
“You have an amendment to your Constitution which deals with gun ownership, we’ll focus on our own political arguments and debates and wish you wise deliberation in your own.”
Mr Trump, who has suggested arming teachers in response to the Florida shooting, said comparing Australia and America was impractical.
“But I think we’re well on the way to solving that horrible problem that happens far too often in the United States.”
He again promoted his idea to train teachers who could be armed within schools, saying it was “very, very important that we have offensive capability as well as defensive capability”.
Mr Trump argued teachers might be better placed than security guards to “take care of our children”.
“See, a security guard doesn’t know the children, doesn’t love the children. The teachers love their children, they love their pupils, they love their students,” he said.
“They have to be very adept, I’m not talking about every teacher, I’m talking about a small percentage.