Sporting Shooters Association of Australia Inc. researcher Paul Peake said today that a recent Australian Institute of Criminology report was correct in saying that firearm-related deaths had declined in since 1990. Mr Peake siad that the AIC was also correct in not attributing the decline to the government’s 1996 gun buy-back scheme - "When considering the figures one can’t ignore what’s happening elsewhere in the world. For instance, New Zealand had no buy-back yet their firearm-related homicides and suicides have also fallen."
Mr Peake went on to say that "It’s important to remember that factors such as declining unemployment rates and increased resources for suicide prevention programs may have a marked influence on firearm-related problems".
Mr Peake said that while the SSAA believed the 1996 National Firearms Agreement had made some positive contributions in terms of firearm storage requirements and the tightening of licensing criteria, there was no definitive proof that the confiscation of guns from licensed, law-abiding owners had any impact on homicide and suicide rates.