Australian Institute of Criminology

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Decrease in firearm homicides

Crime facts info no. 54

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, July 2003

According to the Homicide in Australia: 2001-2002 National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) Annual Report, despite an overall increase in homicide victimisation in 2001-02, there was a decrease in the number of recorded homicides where the type of weapon used was a firearm. Between 1 July 1989 and 30 June 2002 there has been a gradual decline in the use of firearms to commit homicide. Firearms were used in 26 per cent of homicides in Australia in 1989-90, compared to 14 per cent in 2001-02. This represents a 25 per cent decrease, and is the lowest proportion of homicides committed with a firearm since the inception of the NHMP in 1990. The most common type of firearms used to commit homicide in 2001-02 were handguns (56 per cent) and in most cases the firearm used in the homicide was not registered or licensed to either the victim or the offender.

Total homicides and firearm homicides, 1989-90 to 2001-02

chart

Source

  • Mouzos, J, 2003, Homicide in Australia: 2001-2002 National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) Annual Report, Research and Public Policy Series, no. 46, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.