Gun ownership in the UK is a priviledge, not a right, and by comparing UK gun crime statistics with those in other countries we can see that the United Kingdom experiences much less gun misuse than most other countries.
Our Gun Laws are some of the most effective in the world making the United Kingdom one of the safest places to live. However, in terms of public safety there is more we can do to keep ourselves even safer from gun misuse.
The evidence is clear - the more guns there are in a society the more gun crime, gun accidents, gun deaths, gun injuries and gun suicides there are.
Twenty years ago, following the Port Arthur Massacre in which 35 people were killed and many injured with rapid-fire firearms Australian federal, state and territory governments united to reform firearm laws:-
Question What happened to the trend in firearm deaths after Australia introduced extensive gun law reform in 1996, including a ban on semiautomatic rifles and pump-action shotguns?
Findings In the 18 years before the ban, there were 13 mass shootings, whereas in the 20 years following the ban, no mass shootings occurred, and the decline in total firearm deaths accelerated.
Meaning Implementation of a ban on rapid-fire firearms was associated with reductions in mass shootings and total firearm deaths.
Source: Journal of American Medical Association 2016
In 2014 there were 51,819 gun incidents in the USA, 12,590 deaths 23,025 injuries.
In 2015 there were 53,292 gun incidents in the USA, 13,433 deaths, 27,008 injuries.
In the first six months of 2016 there have been 25,178 gun incidents in the USA, 6,465 deaths, 13,313 injuries.
Source: Gun Violence Archive
On 12th June 2016 a shooter with a legally held gun killed 49 people and injured 53 in Orlando Florida.
The United States consistenly fails to protect innocent victims from gun misuse, Gun control measures proposed following the Orlando massacre were rejected.
In the wake of the Orlando massacre Hawaii immediately tightened gun legislation with a Bill to allow police to enroll all gun owners On an FBI database, if a gun owner from Hawaii is arrested in the US local police are alerted.
Stalking and sexual assault has been added to a list of criminal offenses disqualifying someone from gun ownership.
Gun owners are required to surrender their guns if they have been diagnosed with behavioural, emotional or mental disirders or been hospitalized (emergency or involuntary) in a psychiatric facility. If gun owners fail to give up their guns the Chief of Police has the right to seize them.
For the world's most comprehensive web source for published evidence on armed violence, firearm law and gun control visit www.gunpolicy.org, hosted by the Sydney School of Public Health, the University of Sydney
For information about the global network of organisations working to stop gun violence visit IANSA, International Network on Small Arms.