Press releases

For immediate release 19 April 2005

Gun Prohibitionists Off Target

The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) says the National Coalition for Gun Control’s (NCGC) latest call to ban the private ownership of handguns will do nothing to stop the recent gun violence seen on Sydney streets.

Data from the Federal Government’s Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) consistently shows that the majority of firearms used in homicides are unregistered and not legally held. In the year 2002/2003, over 85% of firearms used to commit murder were unregistered. Recent legislation introduced by all states further strengthened controls on access to legitimate handguns by sporting shooters.

This NCGC campaign is supported by a report provided by Ms Samantha Lee, Chair of the NCGC, as part of a Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship awarded to her. An analysis of her commentary clearly details inaccurate statistics and highlights a paucity of available balanced data concerning the firearm debate.

“There are substantial errors and numerous oversights and misunderstandings in Ms Lee’s article. A brief summary of the major flaws is provided on the SSAA website so that the statistical inaccuracies can be identified and acknowledged before the work is cited publicly. The corrections have simply not taken place” explained Dr Baker.

“Despite what the facts tell us, the NCGC once again advances incorrect figures and emotive claims. Further banning of legitimate firearms will not protect the public from gun violence,” continued Dr Baker. “The Australian public are not convinced that yet another expensive handgun buyback will impact upon the thugs who are responsible for the recent drive-by shooting. The Federal Government’s own AIC data supports that fact.”

Public safety debate requires accurate figures and facts. The NCGC’s attempt to stop the criminal misuse of illicit handguns by promoting the prohibition of legitimate sporting firearms will fail.”

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