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Impact of gun law reforms on rates of homicide, suicide and mass shootings in Australia
  1. Penelope Brown
  1. Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK;

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What is already known on this topic

Gun control is a highly topical yet polarising political issue.1 To date, there is limited evidence on the impact of gun law reforms on firearm-related violence and suicide.2 In Australia, substantial changes in gun laws that significantly restrict the use and ownership of weapons were introduced in 1996 following the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania. In 2006, Chapman et al analysed the 10-year impact of this reform on firearm-related deaths (including suicides)3 and found no subsequent mass shootings and an accelerated decline in firearm deaths, especially suicides, in the decade following the reforms. In this new paper, they update the evidence over a longer period.

Methods of the study

Chapman et al carried out an observational study to explore the impact of gun law reform on the incidence of mass firearm homicides and …

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  • Funding PB is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.