Citation(s) from the literature library

Kreisfeld, Renate. 2005 ‘Firearm Deaths and Hospitalisations in Australia, 1979 to 2002.’ NISU Briefing. Adelaide: National Injury Surveillance Unit (NISU), Research Centre for Injury Studies, Flinders University. 21 February

Relevant contents

Firearm-related homicide - Deaths registered between 1979-2002

Hunting rifles and shotguns were the two most common firearms associated with homicides during the period 1983-2002. The use of hunting rifles dropped markedly between the five-year periods 1988-92, 1993-1997 and 1998-2002. There was a much less dramatic reduction in the frequency of use of shotguns over the same three periods.

Handguns were used in a notable proportion of homicides, and their use appears to be rising in frequency.

There was also a rise in the reported use of military weapons between the periods 1983-87, 1988-92 and 1993-97, but there has been a drop in the most recently reported 5 year period (Figure 10).

The apparent rise in the use of military-style semi-automatic weapons is almost entirely due to the occurrence of several mass shootings. During the period 1988-92, semi-automatic weapons were used in three such events, in Hoddle and Queen Streets in Melbourne, and in Strathfield, a suburb of Sydney (Chappell D 1992).

A total of 21 people died in these incidents. During the period 1993-97, semi-automatic weapons took the lives of 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania (Mouzos J May 2000).

All of these events caused a strong public reaction and acted as a catalyst for the revision of firearm laws (Mouzos J May 1999).

ID: Q1936

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