“Any suicide is a tragedy. Research shows that reducing access to means is an important public health strategy and one of the most effective ways of reducing suicides.
We need to do everything within our power to ensure that vulnerable people are kept safe and that support is provided for individuals, families and communities to reduce suicidal behaviours”
Susan Murray, Suicide Prevention Australia Chief Executive
Suicides related to firearms in Australia are among the lowest in the world according to data released by the World Health Organisation. Only 8% of suicides in Australia are related to firearms which is in stark contrast to the US where more the 51% of suicides are gun related.
Legislation restricting firearms ownership has been associated with a reduction in suicides in many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and Norway. Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Sue Murray says that the organisation strongly supports the campaign being led by former Prime Minister, John Howard. It is imperative to maintain a stronghold on gun laws that reduce access to firearms.
Strengthening procedures to obtain a licence, extending waiting periods for purchase, enforcing safe storage requirements and setting a minimum age for purchase of guns have all contributed towards reducing suicides from use of firearms. Suicide Prevention Australia would be concerned to see any of the current laws relaxed and access to firearms made easier.