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ABSTRACT. We reply to criticisms made by prominent anti-gun control researcher Gary Kleck of our widely reported 2016 study on the impact of Australia’s historic 1996 gun law reforms on mass shootings and firearm-related deaths. Thirteen mass fatal shootings in 18 years were followed by 22 years with no such incidents, with the probability of this being a chance occurrence calculated at 1:200,000 against. We concentrate on Kleck’s efforts to repudiate our conclusions by redefining mass shootings; his argument that mass shooters do not maximise the lethal potential of their semi-automatic weapons and so could just as well use (legal) single shot firearms; and that when mass shooters move about in their shooting locations, such events are improperly classified as mass shootings, rather than “sprees.”

Keywords: firearms; gun control; legislation; mass shootings; Australia; suicide

How to cite: Chapman, Simon, and Philip Alpers (2018). “Australia’s 1996 Gun Law Reforms Halted Mass Shootings for 22 Years: A Response to Criticism from Gary Kleck,” Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice 10(1): 94–103.

Received 6 February 2018 • Received in revised form 18 May 2018
Accepted 19 May 2018 • Available online 10 June 2018

doi:10.22381/CRLSJ10120184

SIMON CHAPMAN
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School of Public Health,
The University of Sydney
(corresponding author)
PHILIP ALPERS
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School of Public Health,
The University of Sydney

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