New research shows there are more guns but less gun crime in New South Wales, Australia. Although the number of legally owned firearms has increased substantially over the past decade, firearm crime has decreased.
The author of the study, Dr Samara McPhedran, said “Typically, Australian firearms legislation has been based on a ‘less guns, less crime’ view, which assumes that reducing the number of legally owned guns in society will lead to reductions in firearm misuse.”
“However, the results from this study suggest there is little, if any, relationship between the number of legally owned guns in Australia’s most populous jurisdiction, and levels of gun crime in that state.”
The study found no evidence that rising levels of legal firearm ownership are linked with increasing levels of firearm theft; the opposite was observed, with ongoing declines in theft occurring over a period of years.
The study concludes targeted law enforcement interventions that disrupt criminal activity, along with community-based crime prevention initiatives, may be the most appropriate and effective focus for violence reduction strategies.