Good take at Reason:
Does the 1996 law deserve credit for saving lives? Don Weatherburn, director of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, told PolitiFact that the evidence is “far from conclusive.” Harvard’s David Hemenway, a darling of gun control supporters, admitted, “We really don’t know.”
Some research does suggest the effort was successful. Even if you accept that view, it’s a stretch to think it has much relevance this side of the Pacific. Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University, whose study indicated that the program worked, admitted the experience may not be transferable.
“The ability of an island nation to restrict illegal gun imports,” they wrote, “coupled with the absence of any domestic gun manufacturers producing for the retail market, meant that legal restrictions on gun ownership were more likely to ‘bite’ in Australia than would be the case in countries with porous land borders.” Like, um, ours.