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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

The Failed Experiment: Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England and Wales

Public Policy Sources by Gary Mauser

In this study Gary Mauser looks at crime trends in Commonwealth countries that have recently introduced firearm regulations, those being Great Britain, Australia, and Canada.

Mauser argues that the widely ignored key to evaluating firearms regulations is to examine trends in total violent crime, not just crimes committed with firearms. He points out that since firearms are responsible for only a small fraction of criminal violence, the public would not actually enjoy greater safety if firearms laws simply reduced the incidence of crimes committed with firearms but had no effect on total criminal violence.

Mauser uses the United States as a point of reference in comparison to the Commonwealth countries, because of its radically different criminal justice system, and because qualified American citizens can carry concealed handguns for self-defence. Despite these differences, Mauser notes that violent crime rates (homicide rates in particular) have been falling in the US. Mauser suggests this very fact should raise questions about the rates in those countries where increasingly restrictive firearm laws were introduced.

Mauser concludes that it is an illusion that gun bans protect the public. He argues that no law, no matter how restrictive, can protect us from people who decide to commit violent crimes. Mauser suggests the federal government should be more concerned with enforcing the law against criminals, rather than hunters and target shooters.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Gary Mauser;
Publisher: Fraser Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2003; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International; National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Legislation
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Legislation / 2003
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice

Keywords / Tags:

gun control; gun regulations; firearms regulations; criminal violence; public safety; criminal justice system;