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These factors should be borne in mind in considering the extent to which the results from the Australian NFA might generalize to other countries.It does not appear that the Australian experience with gun buybacks is fully replicable in the United States.While there is no doubt that firearms deaths in Australia have decreased substantially in the years since the implementation of the NFA, how much of that decrease is directly attributable to the NFA is still subject to debate.Much of that debate focuses on the fact that the gun death rate in Australia was already decreasing prior to the time the NFA was introduced: For Australia, a difficulty with determining the effect of the law was that gun deaths were falling in the early 1990s.
In addition, Australia’s government in general and its policing and customs services in particular are highly organized and effective.
Many studies still found strong evidence for a beneficial effect of the law.
It’s also true that in both cases, the authors of studies cautioned that NFA-like plans wouldn’t necessarily achieve (and have not achieved) the same results in the United States, in large part because Australia’s geography makes it much easier to control the flow of arms into the country: Several factors are important in assessing the extent to which the results from the Australian buyback can be extrapolated to other countries.
In the seven years before the NFA (1989-1995), the average annual firearm suicide death rate per 100,000 was 2.6 (with a yearly range of 2.2 to 2.9); in the seven years after the buyback was fully implemented (1998-2004), the average annual firearm suicide rate was 1.1 (yearly range 0.8 to 1.4).
In the seven years before the NFA, the average annual firearm homicide rate per 100,000 was .43 (range .27 to .60) while for the seven years post NFA, the average annual firearm homicide rate was .25 (range .16 to .33) Additional evidence strongly suggests that the buyback causally reduced firearm deaths.