The Australian Firearms Buyback and its Effect on Gun Deaths

15 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2010

See all articles by Wang-Sheng Lee

Wang-Sheng Lee

Monash University

Sandy Suardi

University of Wollongong

Date Written: January 2010


The 1996-1997 National Firearms Agreement (NFA) in Australia introduced strict gun laws, primarily as a reaction to the mass shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in 1996, where 35 people were killed. Despite the fact that several researchers using the same data have examined the impact of the NFA on firearm deaths, a consensus does not appear to have been reached. In this paper, we reanalyze the same data on firearm deaths used in previous research, using tests for unknown structural breaks as a means to identifying impacts of the NFA. The results of these tests suggest that the NFA did not have any large effects on reducing firearm homicide or suicide rates.

JEL Classification: JEL C22, K19

Suggested Citation

Lee, Wang-Sheng and Suardi, Sandy, The Australian Firearms Buyback and its Effect on Gun Deaths (January 2010). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 28, Issue 1, pp. 65-79, January 2010, Available at SSRN: or

Wang-Sheng Lee (Contact Author)

Monash University ( email )

900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East, Victoria 3145

Sandy Suardi

University of Wollongong ( email )

Northfields Avenue
Wollongong, New South Wales 2522

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