skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 82664 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Firearms and Violence in Australian Life - An Examination of Gun Ownership and Use in Australia
Author(s): R Harding
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 202
Sponsoring Agency: Criminology Research Council
Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
International Scholarly Book Services, Inc
Forest Grove, OR 97116
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

International Scholarly Book Services, Inc
Box 555
Forest Grove, OR 97116
United States of America
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This book examines the extent and characteristics of gun ownership in Australia, firearms accidents, the use of firearms in criminal acts, and police use of handguns and then proposes future gun control strategies.
Abstract: A discussion of firearms laws in Australia covers handgun licensing, prohibited weapons, rifle and shotgun licensing, airguns, manufacturers' and retailers' licenses, fees, and police powers. A summary notes that while handgun laws are similar in all jurisdictions, the regulations on other guns vary widely. Estimates of gun ownership are presented, based on a 1973-74 survey of Western Australia, a 1975 general social survey, a 1978 survey of New South Wales and South Australia, and responses to a 1979 questionnaire from governmental agencies. These figures suggest that about 25 percent of Australian households own guns. Also described are types of guns owned, characteristics of gun owners, and motives for possessing firearms. According to these studies, gun owners are ordinary citizens from all levels of Australian society. An analysis of the ways Australians acquire their guns indicates that the present registration system is inadequate, since over half of all owners acquired a gun in some manner other than purchasing it from a dealer. Responses to questions concerning firearms training revealed a disturbingly low level of training and safety-consciousness. The book also addresses firearms accidents and gun use in suicide, with comparisons to other countries. The discussion of firearms use in homicide, serious assault, and robbery concludes that the national handgun inventory should be kept very small and secure. A review of police use of firearms in the Australian States considers training, inadequacies in command control, and the fleeing felony rule. Finally, recommendations for future gun controls focus on revisions and standardization in local regulations rather than a national law. The book includes tables, 33 footnotes, over 60 references, and an index.
Index Term(s): Australia; Firearm accidents; Firearms acts; Gun Control; Handguns; Police weapons use
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.