Factbox: How Canada, Australia and the UK changed their laws after mass shootings


A Texas Department of Public Safety officer stands in front of crosses with the names of school shooting victims, at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School, two days after a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults, in Uvalde, Texas, United States on May 26, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com


May 26 (Reuters) – A Texas elementary school shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers has reignited pressure for new gun safety laws in the United States, which has more guns than many people and gun laws more permissive than many other high-income countries.

More than 200 mass shootings were reported in the United States in 2022, according to Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group. More than 45,000 people died from gun-related injuries, including suicides, in the United States in 2020, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Tougher gun laws were introduced in the US Congress after past mass shootings, but they were voted down by Republicans, independents and some moderate Democrats.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com


Here’s how other nations reacted after similar shootings.


After the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre, in which 14 female engineering students were killed in their Montreal classroom, new legislation required security courses, background checks and increased sentences for certain crimes committed with a firearm.

In 2020, shortly after a gunman shot and killed 13 people in Portapique, Nova Scotia, Canada banned more than 1,500 models of “assault-type” firearms and components, and set limits on the destruction of bullets.

The firearm homicide rate in Canada is 0.5 per 100,000 population, compared to 4.12 in the United States, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington said in a 2021 analysis.


After a gunman killed 35 people at a cafe and tourist site in 1996, Australia banned all semi-automatic rifles and all semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns. Thousands of unlicensed guns were turned in under a gun amnesty program, and licensed gun owners were required to complete a safety course. Read more

The odds of being murdered by a gun in Australia fell to 0.15 per 100,000 people in 2014 from 0.54 per 100,000 people in 1996, a drop of 72%, according to a Reuters analysis of the figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

A gunman killed 16 children and their teacher in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996, sparking a public campaign that led Britain to adopt some of the toughest gun controls in the world. Within two years, new laws effectively banned civilians from owning handguns.

The rate of firearm homicide in the UK is 0.04 per 100,000 population, according to calculations by the IHME.


After the Christchurch mosque shootings that killed 50 people in March 2019, New Zealand’s prime minister banned the sale of assault weapons within days. Parliament then voted to ban the circulation and use of most semi-automatic firearms, parts that convert firearms into semi-automatic firearms, magazines of a certain capacity and certain hunting rifles.

Gun-related murders were and remain rare in New Zealand; the country had 12 in 2018 and 11 in 2021.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com


Reporting by Heather Timmons, Anna Mehler Paperny and Lucy Craymer; edited by Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Comments are closed.