Year: 2010 Source: American Law and Economics Review, v.12, no.2, (Fall 2010), p.509-557 SIEC No: 20110054

In 1997, Australia implemented a gun buyback program that reduced the stock of firearms by around one-fifth (& nearly halved the number of gun-owning households). Using differences across states, the authors tested whether the reduction in firearms availability affected homicide & suicide rates. It was found that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rate of almost 80%, with no significant effect on non-firearm death rates. The effect on firearm homicides was of similar magnitude but was less precise. The results were robust to a variety of specification checks & to instrumenting the state-level buyback rate. (40 refs.) JA