The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia Inc. said today that a new research paper claiming the Federal government's 'buy-back' program had been a success was highly selective and overlooked several important areas where firearm-related crime had risen.
SSAA spokesperson Mr Gary Fleetwood, said that the paper did not acknowledge that assaults involving firearms were at a seven year high in 2001, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. He also noted that firearm-related sexual assaults, kidnappings and attempted murders were all up on pre-buy-back figures. Mr Fleetwood said “In 2001 the rate of firearm-related attempted murder was exactly the same as it was three years prior to the buy-back when there were 640,000 additional guns in the community. We'd be very interested to hear Professor Reuter explain that, especially given that his co-author Jenny Mouzos recently put forward a document clearly indicating that licensed gun owners were responsible for less than 10% of firearm-related homicides.”
Mr Fleetwood went on to say “The sort of claims being made are highly debatable. When all types of firearm-related crimes are taken into account across all jurisdictions it's very difficult to find a correlation between the buy-back scheme and any reductions. To argue that the confiscation program has been a success might be good propaganda, but whether or not it's good social science is another question.”