FactCheck Q&A: Did government gun buybacks reduce the number of gun deaths in Australia?

David Bright, Terrence Goldsworthy (Guest editor), Don Weatherburn (Guest editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceResearch


[Extract] The mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this month once again turned international attention to Australia’s strict gun laws.Just days after the shooting, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australians had handed in 51,000 illegal firearms during a three-month national firearms amnesty.On an episode of Q&A, audience member Diana Melham, who is executive director of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia NSW branch, challenged former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer on the effectiveness of the gun buybacks he helped usher in as part of the Howard government’s sweeping gun reforms following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.Melham said “research shows” the government-funded gun buybacks in 1996 and 2003 have had “no effect in reducing the number of firearms deaths”. Fischer responded that a “fair take” on the statistics would show there has been a reduction in gun deaths since the reforms were introduced and the buybacks took place.So, what does the research show?
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2017


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