Australian Institute of Criminology

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Gun deaths

Media Release

02 June 1997

On Monday, 2 June, 1997, the Australian Institute of Criminology will be releasing a new paper entitled Firearm-Related Violence in Australia. The paper is No. 70 in the series Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice.

Over the past 15 years, there have been 10,150 firearms deaths in Australia, 80% have been suicide, 15% homicide and 5% accidents.

In 35% of these deaths, the type of firearm was not recorded. The Institute's Director, Dr Adam Graycar, has called for a more comprehensive information system so that we can better understand the nature of usage of firearms in causing death and injury.

The Australian Institute of Criminology will be monitoring all firearms deaths and will report their findings to the Australian Police Ministers Council so that Ministers are able to develop appropriate policy responses. Dr Graycar called for:

  • uniform procedures for classification and recording of deaths by coroners;
  • recording on death certificates the type of firearms used;
  • uniform procedures for recording the type of firearm used in robbery, assault, sexual assault, kidnapping and abduction, and so on, by various police forces; and
  • uniform procedures for recording firearm-related injury cases attended to by various hospitals.

The paper, prepared by Dr Satyanshu Mukherjee, presents a great deal of new data on trends in firearm and suicide deaths.