Posted: Mar 24, 2018 7:15 am
by OlivierK
Yes, it would be nice if people didn't overstate the benefits of the 1996 gun reforms in Australia (especially by implying that pre-1996 gun laws in Australia were anything like current US laws - they weren't).

The homicide rate, in particular, was pretty much unaffected (it continued a steady downward trend at a similar rate than pre-1996) as our homicide rate was already low by US standards, with few gun homicides, because our gun laws were already strict pre-1996. The 1996 reforms specifically targeted mass shootings by outlawing rapid-fire weapons, and were very successful in that regard, but those deaths were only ever a tiny fraction of homicides, so expecting a large effect isn't sensible anyway. The national requirements for licensing, registration and storage were, in practice, little more than harmonising a diverse set of state laws into a single national standard. For most states, there was little change (handguns already required registration in every state, and long arms in most), although the national standard was generally set at the most rigorous standard of any state - no state went backwards in the agreement.

There was a reduction in gun suicide, and I've seen papers that analysed the degree to which substitution of method occurred, and found that the decline in gun suicide was not matched by a rise in suicides by other methods (which actually also declined post 1996).

Here's a decent fact check article on the effects of the reforms: ... ur/7254880