Australians now own more guns than before the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, according to new research that shows firearm imports hit a record high in 2014-15.
Doesn't fit the Preferred Narrative, does it?
There's some of the same "It's not more people shooting, it's just the same owners buying more guns!" crap the gun bigots have tried to sell here; slight problem with that:
Psychologist and self-described gun control critic Samara
McPhedran, from Griffith University’s Violence Research and Prevention
Program, attributes the boom in firearm sales to the rising popularity
of shooting sports among a younger demographic.
“I think what the figures show fundamentally is that people are
interested in target shooting and hunting, and that interest seems to be
growing over time,” she said.
And under the heading of 'unintended consequences',
One unintended consequence of the post-Port Arthur gun laws was to
boost the wealth and widen the influence of shooting clubs, according to
Associate Professor Alpers.
The 1996 laws require gun owners to show they have a genuine reason
to own a firearm. The easiest way for people in urban areas to do this
is through membership in a gun club, Associate Professor Alpers said.
And not just membership but active participation. In NSW, for
example, the firearm licensing regulations require members of target
shooting clubs to participate at least four times a year. In Victoria, a
licensed handgun owner is required to participate in at least 10 shoots
a year. The requirements vary by jurisdiction.
“People who never normally went to gun clubs were now going to gun
clubs and shooting ranges because the law obliged them to,” Associate
Professor Alpers said.
“So the gun lobby has grown in size, political clout and, certainly,
in money … as a side-effect of the post-Port Arthur gun laws.”
They put that crap in with the intention of making it onerous enough that people would give up, and some probably did; the rest are banding together and going after the politicians. An effect the hoplophobes and gun bigots did NOT want.
Which, by the way, is making me do a happy dance.
And, speaking of not fitting the Narrative,
On the other hand, the link between Australia’s gun-buying surge and gun violence isn’t clear.
After all, rising gun sales are nothing new. “This isn’t a sudden
increase. It’s a consistent pattern that we’ve seen over a number of
years,” Dr McPhedran said.
“And despite those increases we’ve seen steady declines in firearm misuse.”
Shades of 'Blood in the streets! Bodies in the gutters!' not happening, right?
And let's not forget something the Australian authorities probably wish we didn't know about: the compliance rate for the 1996 confiscations wasn't exactly sterling:
The Australian Shooters Journal did its own math
in a 1997 article on the “gun buyback.” Researchers for the publication
pointed out that the Australian government’s own low-ball, pre-ban
estimate of the number of prohibited weapons in the country yielded a
compliance rate of 19 percent.
But maybe success is in the eye of the beholder. After the expected
mountains of surrendered weapons failed to manifest themselves,
then-Australian Attorney General Darryl Williams’s office revised its
estimate of total firearms in the country to a number lower than its pre-ban estimate of prohibited firearms, and declared victory.
Inspector McCoomb, like the Australian Shooters Journal, concluded the ban “has failed.”
Friend of mine knows someone down there, lived in an area that pre-97, did not have registration. The guy mentioned that for a couple of months after the confiscations were announced, you couldn't find 6" PVC pipe and caps anywhere; wonder what all that was being used for...