“Just weeks after congratulating our Commonwealth gold medallist pistol shooters, Mr Howard has indicated that he would like to make it even more difficult for Australia to produce future champions,” National President Bob Green said. “There is no credible evidence to support such beliefs, and a body of research to demonstrate that legally owned firearms do not represent any cause for concern.”
Leading criminologists have stated that there is no evidence to back assertions that the 1996 gun laws produced results. In terms of public safety, homicides overall stayed steady, and violent crime increased after 1996. Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) data shows that in 2003/2004, 96% of firearms used in homicides were unregistered. Not a single handgun used in a homicide was registered and handguns are the least likely type of firearm to be stolen from a private individual.
National President, Bob Green said “It is disppointing that Mr Howard has been provided with methodologically unsound data produced by the Coalition for Gun Control, who claim to be a more credible source than the Commonwealth’s own research agency, the Australian Institute of Criminology.”
The latest demands fly in the face of evidence-based policy and cannot achieve any benefits and the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA Inc.) has rejected calls for another round of bans and expensive buybacks of semi-automatic pistols.
“Rather than breed contempt for the law or violence, it is far more likely that legal firearms ownership breeds a sense of responsibility, self control, and social commitment sadly lacking elsewhere.”