New research, same results – gun death trends similar to pre-1996

A key role of the SSAA Legislative Action (SSAA-LA) department is to keep abreast of the latest crime data and research as part of our pledge to ensure our policy recommendations are based on the latest facts and evidence. A new report into Australia’s homicide trends has once again revealed the truth about the ineffectiveness of our gun laws.

The AIC’s latest Homicide in Australia 2012-13 to 2013-14: National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) report clearly shows that the rate of deaths involving firearms reflects similar trends that were occurring both before and after the 1996 National Firearms Agreement (NFA). That is, the evidence is clear that the NFA cannot be attributed for being the sole reason for any fall in firearm deaths, when the trends were showing ebbs and flows anyway.

The report also indicates that knives continue to be the most commonly used murder weapon, with 37 per cent of all homicides in 2013-14 involving knives or sharp instruments. Firearms were reportedly used in 13 per cent of homicides across the same period. The SSAA-LA has previously pointed to this relatively low use of firearms as proof that further restrictions on legal firearms ownership are unjustified.

The latest data comes as the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) unveiled a new Crime Statistic Australia website which offers the latest data in real time. AIC director Chris Dawson APM said the website “combines accurate research and information in a new and visual way that will assist our law enforcement and protection agencies, interested stakeholders, and the Australian community to understand and use valuable crime and justice information.”

As always, the SSAA-LA will continue to share the latest firearms-related research with our elected officials and authorities to ensure our firearms laws are based on facts, not emotion. We encourage our members to share our research with both non-shooters and shooters alike as part of our grassroots efforts to correct the record about the reality of illicit firearms use in Australia.

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