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Gun Control Laws Down Under Have Not Cut Murder, Suicide Rates

Research recently published in the British Journal of Criminology finds that Australia's mandated gun turn-in program--which netted 640,000 guns at a cost of some $500 million--failed to make the country safer.

After the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in which a lone psychopath killed 53 people, Australia banned semiautomatic long guns and began a 12-month amnesty period for gun owners to turn in their property and receive compensation.

In their new study, Samara McPhedran, chairwoman of the International Coalition for Women in Shooting and Hunting, and Dr. Jeanine Baker, president of the Sporting Shooters Ass'n of Australia, cite data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Institute of Criminology to say the recent gun control laws have not affected actual gun murder rates or firearm suicide rates.

"Reducing the number of legally held firearms, banning certain firearms and increasing the requirements that must be met to legally own firearms has not produced the desired outcome of a safer society," McPhedran said.

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