Australian study: gun law did nothing
A ten-year study published in the British Journal of Criminology concludes that the Australian confiscation (termed a "buy back" only because a half-billion in compensation was paid out) had no effect on crime rates.
"Homicide patterns (firearm and non-firearm) were not influenced by the NFA, the conclusion being that the gun buyback and restrictive legislative changes had no influence on firearm homicide in Australia," the study says.
In his first year in office, the Prime Minister, John Howard, forced through some of the world's toughest gun laws, including the national buyback scheme, after Martin Bryant used semi-automatic rifles to shoot dead 35 people at Port Arthur.
Although furious licensed gun-owners said the laws would have no impact because criminals would not hand in their guns, Mr Howard and others predicted the removal of so many guns from the community, and new laws making it harder to buy and keep guns, would lead to a reduction in all types of gun-related deaths.
The director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, Dr Don Weatherburn, said he was not surprised by the study. He said it showed "politicians would be well advised to claim success of their policies after they were evaluated, not before"."
Update: ABC News -- the AUSTRALIAN Broadcasting Co., that is, carried the story, and fairly. At the end they quote Prof. Simon Chapman, describing him as an "anti-gun advocate" (when was the last time you heard that term used by the US press?) as "He says the gun laws on hand guns still need some tightening up. "There's been a proliferation of hand guns in recent years, but I think generally speaking that the gun law situation in Australia remains one of the toughest in the world and that's to the great disappointment of the gun lobby in Australia and internationally.""