Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive

Territory Notches Up Deadliest Weapon Count

Australian (Sydney)

4 May 1996

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The Northern Territory has been the deadliest part of the country to be near a firearm, with an estimated 28,655 guns for every 100,000 territorians, and the highest rate of homicide and second-highest rate of suicide by firearm.

However, the latest national statistics obtained by The Weekend Australian show it is impossible with any degree of accuracy to prove that more guns mean more gun deaths.

For example, NSW and Queensland had lower per capita gun ownership than the Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania, but had similar levels of homicide.

Many have tried to make the link, including the National Committee on Violence, in its 1990 report Violence: Directions for Australia. The committee said it was convinced "the availability of firearms increases the risk of violent death, both accidental and deliberate". The committee says that significantly higher gun availability is accompanied by significantly higher rates of gun death, particularly in rural areas.

The most recent figures show that in the Northern Territory there were 4.68 suicides by firearm per 100,000 people and 0.58 homicides by gun per 100,000.
Estimates show South Australians owned the most guns per 100,000 citizens (31,224) and had the second highest homicide rate (0.54 per 100,000) of the States and Territories.

Tasmania had the third-highest level of gun ownership, at 27,542 guns per 100,000 people, and the highest rate of suicide by firearms (6.14 per 100,000).
NSW and Queensland had slightly lower rates of gun ownership and among the higher levels of homicide.

Western Australia and Victoria had the lowest gun ownership rates in Australia and the lowest gun-related suicide and homicide death rates.

ID: N134

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