Australia Banned Semi-Automatic And Automatic Weapons In 1998 After a Mass Shooting And Instituted A Buyback Program. The Firearm Suicide Rate Decreased By 58% And The Firearm Homicide Rate Decreased By 42%, With No Mass Shootings Since 2002

 In National Security and Military Operations   Last Updated: March 3, 2018

After a mass shooting with a semi-automatic weapon in Australia in 1998 that left 35 people dead and 18 injured, Australian lawmakers “banned semi-automatic and pump-action rifles and shotguns, bought back more than 650,000 of these weapons from existing owners, and tightened requirements for licensing, registration, and safe storage of firearms.”

While 13 gun massacres (the killing of 4 or more people at one time) occurred in Australia in the 18 years before the [gun control laws], resulting in more than one hundred deaths, in the 14 following years…there were no gun massacres.

The Australian gun control laws also reduced the firearm homicide and suicide death rates: the firearm suicide rate in the 7 years before the new laws was 2.6 per 100,000 residents; in the 7 years after enacting the new laws it fell to to 1.1 per 100,000 residents (decrease of 58%).  In the 7 years before the new laws the firearm homicide rate was .43 per 100,000; in the 7 years following the new laws it was .25 per 100,000 (decrease of 42%).

After the next mass shooting (with a handgun) in 2002, additional laws for handguns were enacted “restricting the caliber, barrel length and capacity for sport shooting handguns.”  No mass shootings of any kind have happened in Australia since 2002, and only one since 1998.



Clifton Leaf. "How Australia All But Ended Gun Violence." Fortune Magazine, 20 February 2018. Web. 24 February 2018.
"The Australian Gun Buyback." Harvard Injury Control Center. Harvard University, 01 March 2011. Bulletin. 24 February 2018.
Eugene Kiely. "Gun Control in Australia, Updated.", 04 October 2017. Web. 24 February 2018.
"List of massacres in Australia." Wikipedia, Online Encyclopedia. 24 February 2018.
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