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Around 2001, a piece appeared on the Internet that has been circulated widely and often ever since, attempting to make the case that Australia’s gun reform efforts were a dismal failure in terms of reducing violent crime: From: Ed Chenel, a police officer in Australia.Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under.First, the drop in firearm deaths was largest among the type of firearms most affected by the buyback.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in “successfully ridding Australian society of guns.” You won’t see this data on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the state Assembly disseminating this information. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens. in 2012, researchers Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University found that in the decade following the NFA, firearm homicides (both suicides and intentional killings) in Australia had dropped significantly: In 1997, Australia implemented a gun buyback program that reduced the stock of firearms by around one-fifth (and nearly halved the number of gun-owning households).The NFA also had an extremely high degree of political support and was quite competently executed.And the buyback was accompanied by a uniform national system for licensing and registration of firearms.These factors should be borne in mind in considering the extent to which the results from the Australian NFA might generalize to other countries.It does not appear that the Australian experience with gun buybacks is fully replicable in the United States.

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