Australia’s 1996 gun law reforms halted mass shootings for 22 years: a response to criticism from Gary Kleck

21 May 2018

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”.