Sunday, October 30, 2005

Australian firearms legislation has failed, says a top Australian crime statistician: "Gun ownership is rising and there is no definitive evidence that a decade of restrictive firearms laws has done anything to reduce weapon-related crime, according to NSW's top criminal statistician. The latest figures show a renaissance in firearm ownership in the state - a 25 per cent increase in three years. And the head of the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Don Weatherburn, said falls in armed robberies and abductions in NSW in the past few years had more to do with the heroin drought and good policing than firearms legislation. Even falls in the homicide rate, which have been steady, began long before the gun law debate provoked by the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. Nationwide, the proportion of robberies involving weapons is the same as it was in 1996, while the proportion of abductions involving weapons is higher, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics fiures reveal. They show a mixed result in firearms-related offences since the mid-1990s. There has been a fall in firearms murders (from 32 to 13 per cent) but a rise (19 to 23 per cent) in attempted murders involving guns. "I would need to see more convincing evidence than there is to be able to say that gun laws have had any effect," Dr Weatherburn said."

S.397 - Victory or Failure?: "Senate Bill 397 -- a bill that grants legal immunity to firearm dealers and manufacturers in the event of wrongful misuse of their products by a third party -- passed the House and the Senate and is expected to be signed into law by President Bush. The anti-gun clauses that were added to the bill have left many in the gun rights community debating about the true benefits of this legislation, particularly since a similar bill -- H.R. 800 -- was also introduced but contained no anti-gun aspects."

Arkansas: Police investigate home invasion : "Shots rang out in a Fort Smith neighborhood Thursday, part of what police now say was an attempted home invasion. According to police, a man who just got out of jail tried to get back into a home where he once lived. About 1 p.m. Thursday, police said Marvin Wilson, 42, showed up at a home on the corner of 46th and Kinkead. Wilson's brother and another woman who lived inside would not let him in the home. That's when, police said, he got angry, which caused Alonzo Wilson -- Marvin's brother -- to use force to keep him out. Officials said they believe he fired one shot at Marvin Wilson, who was not hit. Marvin Wilson reportedly took off in his car but did not get far."

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