Database examples

Do stricter gun laws work? Global examples provide insight

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Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is running against Greg Abbott for governor in 2022, interrupts a press conference led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

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As of Thursday, there have been 214 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to Gun Violence Archive, an independent online archive of gun violence incidents. For their data, Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as having at least four shot victims who were injured or killed in one incident.

This year, there have been 27 school shootings involving injury or death, according to Education Week, an education news publication that has tracked school shooting data since 2018.

In the aftermath of the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, politicians spoke out both for and against tougher gun laws.

On Wednesday, gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke spoke out in favor of tougher gun laws at a press conference given by Governor Greg Abbott.

More: O’Rourke confronts Abbott at Uvalde: ‘It’s up to you until you choose to do something’

US Senator Ted Cruz has come out in favor of having an entrance and exit gate to school buildings with armed law enforcement outside.

On a Fox News show, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did not come out in favor of tougher gun reform, instead citing video games, the internet and multiple school entrances as major problems.

In a February poll, an average of 43% of Texans said they favor tougher gun laws with the second-highest percentage, 34, who said the laws should be left as they currently are.

More: Should the US have tougher gun laws? Polls show where Texans stand on reform

Do stricter gun laws work? Here are some examples of laws around the world that have reduced the number of gun-related deaths.

UK

After the 1988 Hungerford massacre ended with 17 dead, including the shooter, Britain introduced the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988, which banned the possession of semi-automatic rifles and restricted the use of shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than two rounds.

When 16 children aged 5 and 6 and their teacher were shot and killed in Scotland at Dunblane Primary School in 1996, further restrictions were put in place in the UK.

According to a New York Times report, mass shootings haven’t gone away entirely, with 12 dead in 2010 and five more killed in 2021 – however, gun violence has dropped significantly with the restrictions.

Australia

In 1996, 35 people died and 23 were injured in the Port Arthur massacre in Australia. Following the incident, reforms included a “national gun buy-back programme” and a permanent amnesty program in Tasmania, where the shooting occurred, was put in place.

A nationwide amnesty program began in July 2021 requiring the surrender of unregistered firearms across Australia.

According to the National Library of Public Medicine, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia 18 years before the 1996 shootings and none were reported in the 10 years since.

New Zealand

After the Christchurch mosque shooting in March 2019 killed 50 people, New Zealand banned the sale of assault weapons and banned the circulation of high-capacity magazines, similar to those the attacker used .

Prior to the 2019 shootings, the highest number of gun-related murders recorded between 2005 and 2018 was in 2007 with 20 incidents.

The year after the shooting, in 2020, the country had 16 gun-related killings and 11 in 2021. This year, New Zealand police recorded four gun-related killings.

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Megan Cardona is a duty reporter at the Star-Telegram, covering politics, government programs, community resources and more to help residents navigate daily life in Tarrant County and North Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2020, where she worked at the campus newspaper, The Shorthorn, for two years.