US Gun Laws Compared to Australian Gun Laws

US Gun Laws Compared to Australian Gun Laws

Australia had 30 gun homicides in 2010, which amounted to 0.13 gun deaths for each 100,000 people. Australians hold 3-3.5 million guns, a rate of 15 guns for every 100 people.

Australia is a rare nation that has had a significant shift toward additional gun control in recent years. Following a 1996 shooting spree that left 35 Australians dead at the Port Arthur tourist location in Tasmania, the government launched a major overhaul of gun laws.

In the decade before Port Arthur, Australia saw 11 mass shootings; since then, there has not been a single mass shooting and the gun murder rate has continued its steady decline.

Here’s what they did: Pro-gun Conservative John Howard pushed through an ambitious gun control program. The laws banned all automatic and semi-automatic weapons and instituted strict licensing rules involving background checks and waiting periods for purchases.

The conservative government also instituted a buyback program, where people were paid for turning in newly illegal automatic and semi-automatic rifles; 650,000 weapons were voluntarily handed in and destroyed at a cost of roughly $359.6 million.

Today, Australians must demonstrate a justifiable need to have a gun, such as being a farmer or sport shooter. Australia doesn’t have a full semi-automatic handgun ban and doesn’t have any laws designed to keep guns away from the mentally ill.