The mass shooting that prompted Australia’s crackdown happened in Tasmania, in 1996, when 28-year-old Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 people in a café. Another 23 were injured.
Just weeks before, a gun enthusiast shot and killed 16 screaming first-graders and their teacher in an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland. Britain enacted a handgun ban soon afterwards.
Australia already had strict rules about handguns, but a revolted public backed wider reforms that banned rapid-fire long guns and forced the buyback of nearly 660,000 weapons.
Chapman’s team analyzed death statistics to see what effect the laws have had.
“Following enactment of gun law reforms in Australia in 1996, there were no mass firearm killings through May 2016.”
“From 1979-1996 (before gun law reforms), 13 fatal mass shootings occurred in Australia, whereas from 1997 through May 2016 (after gun law reforms), no fatal mass shootings occurred,” they wrote