The curious case of Philip Alpers

Anti-firearms commentator admits firearm murders on the decline before 1996

In a curious twist to the academic debate on firearms in Australia, Sydney University’s Adjunct Associate Professor Philip Alpers has become the first of anti-private firearm ownership commentators to admit that firearms deaths were falling well before the Port Arthur mass-murders-inspired 1996 firearms regulations were established.

SSAA CEO Tim Bannister attended the annual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology conference in Canberra in late 2017 to witness this admission. Mr Alpers made the comment in response to a question by a member of the 10 or so attendees to his presentation on Gun control legislation: Australia’s 20-year leading role on the world stage.

Astonishingly, earlier in his presentation he also admitted that by mid-2015 there were again as many privately-owned firearms in Australia as there were before the Port Arthur murders.

The admissions debunk the myths often attributed to the introduction of the National Firearms Agreement more than 20 years ago – that deaths by firearm dramatically dropped and that there were fewer firearms in Australia today due to the new laws.

SSAA will continue to demand that firearm-related laws be analysed, tweaked and introduced based on evidence and science not wishful thinking, the rewriting of history or nanny-state inspired ideology.

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