In Australia, new gun-control laws were approved and implemented late in
1996 after a multiple shooting in Tasmania. Australians have since been
forced to surrender nearly 650,000 firearms. The impact on crime has been
predictable: the law-abiding are less secure and the criminal element has
been emboldened. In October last year, Australian Bureau of Statistics
figures comparing 1997 (the first full year after passage of new laws)
with 1996 revealed that murders increased 3,2% , assaults escalated 8,6%,
and armed robberies rocketed 44%.
In addition, unarmed robberies climbed 21%, unlawful entries 3,9% and
motor vehicle theft 6,1%.
In the state of Victoria where more than 200,000 firearms have been
turned in, the murder rate increased 18% while homicides with firearms
jumped nearly 300%, an indication of the extent to which criminals scoff
at anti-gun laws that make their job easier by making their victims