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Canada's Low Gun Homicide Rate Proves the Effectiveness of Gun Control (From Gun Control, P 243-247, 1992, Charles P Cozic, ed. -- See NCJ-160164)

NCJ Number
C F Sproule; D J Kennett
Date Published
5 pages
Gun-control laws in Canada are far more rigorous than those in the United States; lower firearms murder rates in Canada compared to the United States prove that these strict gun-control measures are effective.
Several studies have not yielded clear or unequivocal evidence for the effectiveness of gun control in the United States. On the other hand, the authors of this paper have demonstrated a significant decrease in shooting homicide rates in Canada after the introduction of stringent gun-control legislation in 1976. They propose that the discrepant findings regarding the benefits of gun control between Canada and the United States are likely the result of differences in the rigor and pervasiveness of gun control. In Canada, handguns are restricted weapons. Permits for ownership of handguns in Canada may be obtained only by police and others who demonstrate a need for handguns in their work, members of bonafide gun clubs, bonafide gun collectors, and persons who demonstrate a need for handguns for protection. Infractions of gun-control laws are indictable offenses under the Criminal Code of Canada. In contrast, gun-control laws and criminal law in the United States are not Federal, but reside in each State or jurisdiction. Avoidance of local gun-control regulations may be accomplished by crossing jurisdictional boundaries. The authors obtained Canadian data for the rate at which victims of homicide were killed by handguns, by firearms other than handguns, or by methods not involving firearms for the years 1977 to 1983 inclusive. American data for the same years for victims dying by the same methods were obtained from the 107th Edition of the Statistical Abstracts of the United States 1987. In support of the hypotheses and in a clear demonstration of the benefits of Canadian gun control, the study found that Canadians kill less with firearms than Americans and that the difference between the two countries is larger for handgun killings than for those committed by other firearms. Additional support for the effectiveness of Canadian gun control comes from Sloan and his colleagues' comparison of crime, assault, and homicide rates in Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, from 1980 through 1986.