The numbers have varied since then, but there were 23 percent fewer homicides in 2013 than there were in 1996 — a slight improvement from our last report, which covered a 12-year period ending in 2007.
On the other hand, a 2006 analysis by scholars at the University of Sydney concluded that gun fatalities decreased more quickly after the gun law passed.
“Australia’s 1996 gun law reforms were followed by more than a decade free of fatal mass shootings, and accelerated declines in firearm deaths, particularly suicides,” the authors of that study wrote.
As reported by the , the gunman, Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, used semi-automatic weapons outfitted with a “bump stock” device that allowed him to quickly fire multiple rounds at concertgoers from his luxury suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
He killed nearly 60 people and wounded more than 500 others.
With Australia’s population steadily increasing, the nation’s homicide incident rate has fallen even more than the number of homicides — from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1995-96 to 1 per 100,000 in 2013-2014, according to a government report on crime trends.
That was the lowest homicide incident rate at the time in 25 years, as we mentioned earlier.
According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, a government agency, the number of homicides in Australia did increase slightly in 1997 and peaked in 1999, but has since declined to the lowest number on record in 2007, the most recent year for which official figures are available.” The crime statistics above were taken from the AIC’s annual report called “Australian crime: facts and figures 2008.” The most recent report, “Australian crime: facts and figures 2014,” which was released last year, shows that homicides remained low through 2013.
The previous low in 2007 was surpassed in 2010, when the number of homicides dropped to 261.
In our 2009 story, we wrote that there was no consensus on that point.
For example, we wrote that a 2003 AIC study looked at rates of firearm-related deaths between 19 and found that some of the decline in firearm-related homicides (and suicides, as well) began before the 1996 law was enacted.
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