Firearms and violence in Australia


A number of recent multiple murders have focused renewed attention on violence and firearms in Australian society. In light of the concern expressed by Commonwealth and State Governments, the following pages provide some basic information and policy options regarding the availability of firearms. First, we provide a number of facts and figures relating to the availability of firearms in Australia and their use in crime of violence. Secondly, we point to some contemporary and comparative experience with the introduction of gun control measures in Canada; a federal nation which shares many common bonds and traditions with Australia. Thirdly, we consider the role of law enforcement in the regulation and use of firearms. Fourthly, we comment on several specific proposals for gun control including customs interdiction, security measures, limits on media portrayals of the use of weapons, and penalties for gun-related offences.