03/12/2015 11:07 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Mark Hamill Praises Australia's Gun Control After San Bernardino Shooting


Mark Hamill, the actor who brought Luke Skywalker to life in the Star Wars films, has praised Australia as an example of gun control being able to work, in the wake of another mass shooting in the U.S.

As news of the San Bernardino shooting continued to unfold, Hamill told his 641,000 Twitter followers on Thursday that "We need to change this. We can do this. We must do this." He signed off the message with the hashtag #PortArthur96.

The hashtag is not widely used, but appears to refer to the deadly gun massacre in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in April 1996. The gun control laws Australia enacted in the wake of that shooting have been held up as an example of effective measures around the world, especially as of late in the U.S., with Australia not having experienced another mass shooting since.

The #PortArthur1996 hashtag has only been used a handful of times on Twitter, with Hamill himself seemingly kickstarting it in October in the wake of the Umpqua college shooting in Oregon, where nine people were shot dead. Here's what he said on October 2:

The post-Port Arthur laws -- including gun buybacks, tighter restrictions and more severe penalties for illegal gun ownership -- were famously investigated on The Daily Show by correspondent John Oliver.