Will Gun Control Make Us Safe?
Debunking the Myths

             Dr. Gary A Mauser

          Dr. Gary A Mauser

Outline of presentation

Who is Gary Mauser?

Warning - Statistics Ahead!

Firearms in Canada

Firearms in Canada

Firearms in Canada

Canadian firearms legislation

The assumptions behind universal firearms registration

The “weapon instrumentality” hypothesis

Homicide Rates and Gun Ownership

Slide 14

Problems with “instrumentality” hypothesis

Injuries During Assault

Do restrictive gun laws
create a safer society?

How can we measure improvements in public safety?

Gun crime has declined,
but not gun homicide

Homicide stable
since 1998

Gang-related homicides

Handgun homicides
have increased

Violent Crime Stable

Total Suicides Stable

Since 1998

Firearms Registry

Summary Evaluation

What went wrong?

Problems with the public health approach

Advocacy, not science

Advocacy, not science

Defending the firearm registry

Critique of defense

Defending the firearm registry

Critique of defense

Source of ‘crime guns’?

Firearms used in homicide

A police study of ‘crime guns’

Another study of ‘crime guns’

More studies of ‘crime guns’

How many ‘crime guns’ come from police/military?

A natural quasi-experiment

Please Note

National differences have diverse causes

A comparison of crime trends in selected countries with the US

Great Britain

Firearm laws have targeted legal owners

Very few firearms used in homicide are legally held

Robbery increased but (legal) gun ownership decreased

English homicide rates increased after 1997

Firearms violence in England increased

Violent crime rate increased in England and Wales

Comparing crime in
England and US (2004)

No change in homicide in Scotland

Murder declined in
Northern Ireland


Australian firearms legislation

Little change in homicide immediately following 1997

Firearms use in homicide declined following 1997

Violent crime continued to increase in Australia after 1997 firearms laws

Assault rates and robbery rates both rose in Australia after 1997

The Republic of Ireland

Irish Gun Law

Murders continued to increase in Ireland

Robberies increased in Republic of Ireland


Jamaican Gun Laws

Murders continued to increase

Trends in Jamaican criminal violence

Violent crime continued to increase


Econometric analyses of
the 1977 and 1991 Canadian firearm laws

Evaluating the 1977 Firearms Law: Homicide

Evaluating the 1977 Firearms Law: Robbery

Evaluating the 1991 and 1977 Firearms Law: Robbery


Research on the effectiveness of gun laws

Why is violent crime stable in Canada?

Punishment too lenient

Punishment too lenient

Police Trends in Canada

What works?

What is the US Doing?

Sentenced Prisoners in
State and Federal Institutions

Capital Punishment,

Increase in Concealed Carry Laws

And the results?

Homicide and Violent Crime Rates Declined in US

England & Wales vs. USA

England & Wales vs. USA



Types of “high risk” people

Estimated numbers of
“high-risk” people